Could Luigi's Mansion 3 be located in Canada?

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by: Hairball

Luigi's Mansion 3 was developed by Next Level Games, a Canadian video game developer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Unless you did some research beforehand, it'd be surprising as it feels like any other game in the Mario series, most of which were developed by Nintendo's internal R&D teams in Japan.

Luigi's Mansion 3 has some Canadian connections
Luigi's Mansion 3 has some Canadian connections

The video game development industry is rather small in Canada, so this company is quite accomplished to be able to make big Nintendo titles! They have produced Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS and the Super Mario Strikers series. One thing I've always found is that Mario Strikers games feel more like a game of ice hockey than soccer. Of course, hockey is the quintessential Canadian sport and a major part of Canadian identity. There is actually a reference to Mario Strikers in the 8th floor studio as well.

While playing Luigi's Mansion 3, there are a couple of things that emphasize some of those Canadian connections in the game. The first thing that you can notice is the bus ride where Red Toad drives Luigi, Polterpup, Mario, Princess Peach, Yellow Toad and Blue Toad to their vacation spot.

Toad driving a bus with left handed steering wheel indicating right hand traffic
In Luigi's Mansion 3 - developed in Canada, Toad driving a bus with left side steering wheel - meaning right hand traffic

Toad's Turnpike in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with left hand traffic
In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - developed in Japan, Toad's Turnpike clearly showing left hand traffic

The bus that Toad drives has the steering wheel on the left side of the vehicle, which is the standard in Canada, a country which drives on the right side.

In Japan, they drive on the left side of the road which means vehicles have a steering wheel on the right side. In games with traffic, you will notice that cars are on the left side of the road, such as in the Toad tracks in Mario Kart.

The game takes place at The Last Resort hotel which appears to be out in the Rocky Mountains. There's a lake with mountains surrounding it, with the hotel building right on the edge of the water.

The Last Resort in the daytime - Luigi's Mansion 3
"The Last Resort" Hotel in the daytime before it is haunted

It's a scenic view that actually resembles Lake Louise, which is in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, a 2 hour drive from Calgary. Banff National Park is a very popular destination for Canadians and people around the world to visit, there are breathtaking views throughout the park.

Chateau Lake Louise Hotel in Alberta
Aerial view of Lake Louise with Chateau Lake Louise Hotel (Source: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka)

Chateau Lake Louise is one of the most famous luxury hotels in Canada, and it is located right on the base of Lake Louise - a well-known glacial lake that has a turquoise colour in the summer in the right lighting conditions. During the winter it's possible to skate on the lake as well.

During Toad's drive to The Last Resort, it was a windy path that was reminiscent of the drive up to Lake Louise from the highway which is at lower elevation.

Of course the Super Mario universe is not exactly based on real life, so we wouldn't know for sure if it is actually in Canada, or based on a Canadian place. But these little indicators are perhaps a sign that the developers wanted to include a little Canadiana in Luigi's Mansion 3.

After going on a ghost-catching vacation with Luigi, does it make you want to travel to a real-life resort in the mountains?

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