Wario Land 4 is a video game starring Wario for the Game Boy Advance. It is the fourth game in the Wario Land series. The game features 2D graphics with linear transformations (similar to Super Mario World and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island).
Wario reads a newspaper and discovers that recent ancient ruins have been discovered. He hops in his car and drives off to the ruins to try to hog the money for himself. While in the ruins, Wario has to defeat four bosses, and their leader Golden Diva, in order to save a princess trapped in the temple.
Gameplay in Wario Land 4 is much like gameplay in previous Wario Land titles. It is primarily focused around platforming, using Wario's unique transformation abilities to obtain large amounts of jewels and wealth.
Wario's primary attacks are jumping and elbow attacks, but unlike the previous Wario games, Wario can charge his attacks using the shoulder buttons. The more powerful moves give Wario a degree of invincibility and allows him to smash through thicker green blocks.
There are four different chambers in the ruins that have four levels and a boss. All but one of the levels has a distinct template. Wario has to go through each level and obtain four pieces of a crystal (used later as a key to access the boss) before hitting a device that activates a time bomb. Wario has to escape the level via portal in the allotted amount of time. There is a strange, bird like creature with a key that Wario has to capture in order to progress into the next level.
Wario cannot get a game over. He has a health bar of eight hearts while in levels and boss fights. There is also a smaller gauge below the heart meter. Whenever Wario attacks an enemy, they leave not only coins, but a red orb that Wario can collect to fill up the gauge. When the gauge is filled up, Wario obtains a new heart. When Wario can obtain no more new hearts and the gauge is filled, Wario obtains a 500 point silver piece with every enemy he defeats.
There are a number of transformations that Wario has to use to progress through the eighteen levels in the game.
- Frozen Wario: If Wario gets blasted by ice, he will slide back until he hits a wall or rock.
- Spring Wario: If Wario gets hit by a hammer wielding enemy, he will turn into an elastic spring version of himself. It will cause him to bounce up and down vertically. He can jump higher than usual and can release his energy into a super jump that can smash green blocks.
- Flat Wario: If Wario gets hit by a heavier object, he may become flattened into Flat Wario. Wario can then float when he jumps and squeeze through small gaps in the walls. Touching water allows Wario to revert to normal Wario.
- Fire Wario: If Wario gets hit by a fireball, he will catch on fire and become Fire Wario. Fire Wario will charge back and forth, only turning when he hits a wall. Whenever he does, the amount of flame consuming him increases. He can hit three walls until he becomes covered in flames, allowing him to break fire blocks
- Fat Wario: If Wario gets hit by a donut throwing enemy, he can become obese and invincible as Fat Wario. Wario cannot take damage in this mode, and most enemies are defeated by contact with Wario. Fat Wario can break green blocks without using a charged move. Wario will revert to normal Wario after a few seconds.
- Snowman Wario: If Wario is hit with a snowball hanging from the ceiling, he will become Snowman Wario. If he touches a ramp, he will roll up and propel himself down the slope breaking special blocks and enemies.
- Puffy Wario: If Wario gets stung by a bee or an archer, he will inflate and be able to propel himself upwards. If Wario hits a ceiling, he will deflate and revert to normal Wario.
- Vampire Wario: Vampire Bats swarm around some of the levels in the sapphire passage. Getting attacked by one will turn Wario into a vampire. At any time, Wario can press the B button to transform into a vampire bat, allowing him limited flight. If Wario touches water or intense light, he will revert to normal Wario.
- Zombie Wario: If Wario gets hit by one of the flying skeletons in the sapphire hall, he transforms into an undead version of himself allowing him to pass through certain platforms. If Wario touches water or intense light, he will revert to normal Wario.