Luigi’s Mansion 3 was supposed to be a “working title.” Nintendo even said as much, around this time last year, in the very announcement trailer that revealed that the new entry to its important video game spinoff series would be coming to the Switch in 2019.
As Mario’s slightly less famous brother, adventure sidekick, and plumbing business subcontractor, Luigi has been vacuuming up ghosts, and looking scared doing it, since the original Luigi’s Mansion first appeared on Nintendo’s GameCube in 2001. At the center of that game was, true to the title, a spook- and specter-plagued mansion, and the 2013 sequel, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, stuck to the spirit of the original by featuring multiple haunted mansions.
But—and I cannot stress this enough—there is no mansion in Luigi’s Mansion 3.
Instead, the game takes place in a hotel, a towering, imposing beau rivage named the Last Resort with novelty-themed floors, a fun twist for a new installment in this goofiest of survival horror franchises. While the building somewhat resembles a tower of mansions stacked on top of each other from the outside, its size and function buck the traditional understanding of what a mansion is. And yet, Luigi’s Mansion 3 has remained the title for this game all year, and a representative for Nintendo confirms that there are no plans to change it.
But there’s no need for Nintendo to stop “working” on a “working title” while there are still almost two months left to come up with something better. In an interview with Kotaku, long-standing Nintendo game designer and producer Kensuke Tanabe meagerly offered that the game is still called Luigi’s Mansion 3 because the company wants consumers to know unambiguously that “it’s the third edition.” Worse, Tanabe threatens that “even in the future, if the setting changes, we’re still going to continue to call it Luigi’s Mansion.”
Words mean things, and reductive marketing logic shouldn’t ruin what looks like a very fun and cute game. Here’s a modest suggestion for a better title: The Grand Hotel Luigi. (If there really are serious brand recognition issues, affixing a tiny Luigi’s Mansion 3 somewhere on the packaging as a subtitle should suffice.) In fact, here are some other title ideas that, while not as good as The Grand Hotel Luigi, are still better than Luigi’s Mansion 3:
• The Hotel Luigi
• Le Grand-Hôtel du Luigi.
• Luigi’s Hotel
• Super “The Shining” Bros.
• Luigi Checks In
• The Best Exotic (but Also Terrifying) Luigi Hotel
• Bell Bros.
Fans of comedy writer Dan Harmon might remember a bit from his podcast in 2016, during which he launched into a mini diatribe about how obvious it was that the sequel to the movie Now You See Me should have been called, by any reasonable standard, Now You Don’t. The studio went instead with Now You See Me 2 , which is depressingly uninspired, if not totally thoughtless, since there was no doubt a drawn-out conference-room debate over how best to title the film. The situation with Luigi’s Mansion 3 feels similar, with the minor distinction that this game looks like it will actually be enjoyable—which is why it deserves a title that matches the level of care put into making it.