Harking back to the portrait ghosts of the original Luigi’s Mansion, the boss ghosts of Luigi’s Mansion 3 are one of the game’s main highlights, dripping with personality and offering a range of imaginative combat encounters. In this guide, we’ll cover strategies for defeating every boss in the game, including the few that do not have an entry in the game’s collectables menus.
Boss Location: Garage
Luigi’s Mansion 3’s first boss encounter is inevitably a pretty straightforward one – this guy may as well be a standard Goober ghost with more HP. His one gimmick is that he will periodically pick up a suitcase and attempt to throw it at the player – easy enough to walk out of the way of. He does also use this suitcase to shield himself from the player’s Strobulb, however.
Rather than waiting until he throws the suitcase, you do have the option of stomping (ZL+ZR) to throw him off balance before hitting him with the Strobulb and vacuuming him up like every other ghost.
Once defeated, you’ll get the elevator buttons for floors 1 and 5
Boss Location: Lost and Found
Once you have acquired the star key by looting the cash registers of every shop in the mall, you can access the Mall Cop’s security office. As with most of the floor before this boss, you’ll be using Gooigi the vast majority of the time, as the boss tactical rolls his way into the storage room behind the office and through some metal bars.
As Gooigi is essentially immortal, this works in your favour, however, you will need to avoid Kruller’s attempts to douse Gooigi with the water pistol he finds. Kruller’s sunglasses also present a challenge to overcome – they will deflect all Strobulb shots so you must first vacuum them off of his face (this is not immediate, so have a little patience). Once the sunglasses are off, take him down like any normal ghost. Note that he will find new pairs of glasses in between phases.
Once Kruller is safely inside the Poltergust, you will receive an elevator button for floor 2.
Boss Location: Room 508
Your encounter with Chambrea has two notable twists. Firstly, you’ll have to fight her in several rooms before she is defeated, as she’ll run away after losing a certain amount of health. Secondly, and more importantly, it is not possible to vacuum her up directly – she will swipe you with a feather duster, causing you to sneeze.
Instead, shoot the Poltergust’s plunger (L button) at E. Gadd’s briefcase – which she has stowed away inside her ghostly body – pull the rope and throw her around the room until you have fully depleted her health.
Your victory earns you the elevator button for floor 3.
Boss Location: Kitchen
As you approach the kitchen you will see a haze of black smoke escaping its doors – inside, this smoke billows making the entire righthand side of the room inaccessible. If Luigi gets too close he will have to retreat, and one Poltergust alone isn’t enough to vacuum all that smoke away – set Luigi on suction mode (ZR) and switch to Gooigi (push right stick in) and swallow up the last of the smoke.
The source of the smoke is a spectral Chef, cooking on a large cast iron pan. He isn’t happy with the interruption and wields the pan as both protection against your Strobulb and as a deadly weapon that he swings wildly around the room. Shoot your plunger at the pan and vacuum up the rope to wrench it out of his hands, leaving him vulnerable to the standard Strobulb and vacuum combo.
Overpowering Chef Soulfflé earns you the button for the fourth floor… only for it to be immediately stolen by a rat. In the dining room, you should take a lump of cheese and place it on the floor some distance away from the rat-hole, moving Luigi and Gooigi off-screen. Dash towards the rat enjoying the cheese and hit it with the Strobulb, and you will have the button stolen by a second rat.
Follow the second rat to the hallway outside, then the entertainment room, and finally (after an ambush by Hiders) the ladies restroom, where a whole pile of rats can be found behind the a cubicle door.
Boss Location: Auditorium
Wolfgeist presents the game’s first meaty, multi-phase boss encounter and the biggest challenge up to this point. For the first phase, Wolfgeist is disinterested in Luigi’s presence, pushing him back into the audience and continuing his piano concert while throwing rows of chairs at the player. Dodging these is as simple as repeatedly circling the central bank of chairs.
Once all chairs have been thrown, an irked Wolfgeist will change tempo and send out some ballet-dancing ghosts to take you out. In addition to fetching tutus, this lot wear masks that block your Strobulb. Stomp (ZL+ZR) to knock the masks off before zapping them – you can also knock masks off other ghosts by slamming them into each other.
With the dancing ghosts despatched, Wolfgeist will finally intervene directly – he will possess the piano and attempt to crush the player several times – requiring that you keep moving. When he disappears for longer than usual, he is about to do one big slam – you will need to stomp/jump over a shockwave that radiates out from the piano.
At this point, the piano will return to the stage, open its lid and throw a series of bombs at you. With the suction of your Poltergust (ZR), pick up one of the bombs that don’t immediately flash and throw the bomb at the lid of the Piano, pitching it inside and throwing the Piano on its side. Fire your plunger at the circular emblem on the underside, pull and damage the Piano – this will also leave the lid ajar allowing you to Strobulb Wolfgeist and take off some of his health.
The phase will repeat several times with the number/intensity of attacks increasing (and a piano-key throwing attack thrown into the mix). Eventually, you will do enough damage to the Piano to destroy it, initiating the final phase in which Wolfgeist will fly at you launching flaming musical notes. Finish him off and claim the button for Floor 6 (and free the toad with your dark-light device).
Boss Location: Coliseum
The heavily armored King MacFrights appears initially to be invulnerable to any attack you can devise for him. His shield reliably deflects your Strobulb, you cannot find a place to plant your plunger and he is entirely unphased by your stomp attack. The key here is timing rather than figuring out a specific weakness.
MacFrights is invulnerable while he circles the arena and even as he cheers and starts his attack run at you – instead, you have to look out for the moment in which he lowers his shield just before he lunges at you with his lance. His head will briefly pop up leaving you free to Strobulb him. He will immediately collapse into a pile of armor, allowing you to plunger the target on his chest and throw him about.
After repeating this three times, the armor breaks and throws MacFrights clear. In this final phase you will have to run from him and wait for him to swing and wedge his sword in the ground – zap him with the Strobulb and finish him off like any other ghost. He spits out the button for Floor 7 when you have triumphed.
Boss Location: Studio 5: City Set, Editing Room
The director ghost, Morty, is unusual in that you never really fight him directly. Instead, you fight a boss on one of his studio sets while he films the results.
Getting to this point requires that you first retrieve the megaphone from Studio 4: Micro Set. This is done by taking various items from one studio via the television monitors to another to achieve various outcomes in the film shoots in each studio. Follow the following sequence:
- Take a bucket from Backstage through the rightmost television to Studio 1: Horror Set and drop it into the well. Have Luigi use the film camera, press the right stick in to summon Gooigi into the scene, and approach the well. You will receive a bucket of water.
- Take the bucket of water to the scene being filmed in Studio 2: Castle Set. Dump it on the vine on the right. Claim the now unlit torch from the top of the tower
- Take the unlit torch to the scene in Studio 3: Fire Set and light it
- Take the lit torch to Studio 4: Micro Set and blow air out of it at the spider and web in the film scene here to claim the megaphone
Returning to Morty with Megaphone, he will make you the star of a Godzilla-like Kaiju disaster film. A goober playing the role of the monster will spit fireballs for you to dodge before charging up an energy ball that must be blown back with the Poltergust. The strength of this attack increases as you go along, requiring you to get Luigi and Gooigi to focus blown air at the energy ball (hold ZL while switching to the other character by pushing the right stick in). Once the costume is finally thrown clear, deal with the ghost.
Morty will disinterestedly chuck the button for Floor 9 and head into his Editing Room. You’re now free to continue the story, though you can visit him to find him working frantically on the footage.
If you return later in the game, Morty will declare his masterpiece complete – you can Strobulb him and add him to your boss ghost collection if you want (though Luigi’s celebration seems somewhat subdued, considering Morty’s lack of aggression).
Boss Location: Atrium
Once you have ascended the giant plant in the Atrium and failed to claim the elevator button for Floor 8 from the top, you will face off against Dr. Potter and his vicious man-eating plant on the lowest level. The plant will block any and all attacks so you must find a way to neutralise it – thankfully, the game provides you with a handy buzzsaw for this purpose.
The key to indulging in some oddly gratuitous sawing action is to get the carnivorous plant stuck on the plants growing on the ground at the sides of the arena. Growth is gradual – the ground plants start small and eventually turn into a large-nut like growth.
Stand with Dr. Potter on the opposite side of one of these tough plants and the carnivorous plant he holds will lock its jaws around the nut. Take the opportunity to saw at the plant’s neck with the buzzsaw (activate with your Strobulb). Once Dr. Potter is plantless, attack with him as you would a regular ghost. Repeat the process several times and you will capture him.
The elevator button for Floor 8 ends up caught on a leaf of the giant central plant. Water the green vine directly below with a nearby watercan to access.
Boss Location: Exhibit Hall
Approach the Toad portrait and hit it with your dark-light beam – before you can free your friend, the hall’s T-Rex skeleton will suddenly come to life and stamp, dislodging two giant eggs held by two Pterodactyl skeletons. Pick up one egg and throw it at the T-Rex’s mouth – it will chew on the egg and throw its head back – pick up the other egg and throw it at the T-Rex’s chest.
You will repeat this process again, however, the T-Rex’s thrashing will bring down other debris and destroy one of the Pterodactyls. With only one egg available, you should feed Gooigi to the T-Rex and have Luigi throw the one egg at its chest.
The T-Rex will now break-free of its fixtures, destroy the remaining Pterodactyl, and stomp around after you. Attacks include a linear sonic boom, attempts to step on you, a circular tail swing that must be avoided or jumped with ZL+ZR and stamping that brings debris down from the roof to be dodged. When the T-Rex roars, it leaves an opening for you to throw a piece of debris at its chest. Repeat until the skeleton falls apart, revealing the cave-man ghost, Ug, wielding a thigh-bone club.
Ug will strike the floor with his club, and will unleash a stronger strike that will send out a shockwave (jump with ZL+ZR) while wedging the club in the ground. Use your Strobulb in the opening that this presents. Vacuum him up and repeat until he is eliminated. Doing so earns you the button for Floor B2 – free your Toad friend and return to the elevator.
Boss Location: Studio 3: Fire Set, Backstage / Blooming Suite, Ivy Bathroom
Head to the Floor 8 lift and Hellen Gravely’s spectral feline companion will suddenly snatch the button for Floor 9 from you, forcing you to chase it through Floors 8 and 7.
All phases play out the same way – Polterkitty will be hiding in a piece of furniture, and when disturbed will transform into a larger cat, perching on an unreachable vantage point. It will jump down when Luigi turns away from it (it is disinterested in Gooigi, who can move freely around).
If you attack while Polterkitty is stalking Luigi it will retreat undamaged – instead, you must wait until the last possible moment – when it stands on its hind-legs, retracts its claws, and poses to strike Luigi – to hit it with your Strobulb (this is easiest with Gooigi, as you can set up in anticipation of the strike).
Once stunned, you can vacuum up Polterkitty as usual. You will take one of its tails and then it will retreat to another room. From Floor 8’s Studio 3: Fire Set (check under the bench), it will head to Backstage (use the cherry picker to access the lighting scaffold). Then it will jump through the floor and reappear in the Blooming Suite (check the wardrobe) and finally the Ivy Bathroom on Floor 7 (turn the taps on with your Poltergust – you may need to repair a pipe under the floor). You will reduce it to 1 health before it runs away, leaving the button for Floor 9.
Boss Location: Main Tank – Top
This delightfully absurd boss fight sees Luigi and his ghost opponent battle in a water tank atop two majestic inflatable ducks – movement is achieved with the Poltergust (blowing with ZL to move the duck forward, and using the suction on ZR to move it backward). This is easier said than done and may take some getting used to.
Key here is avoiding the spiked edges of the tank, and waiting for an opportunity to push Clem onto them. This comes when after a series of swipes with his paper fan, he overextends, spins out of control and makes himself dizzy. Vacuum up the head of his inflatable, aim at the edge of the tank and blow air. Clem will be launched from the tank, requiring Luigi to climb the ladder out, Strobulb and vacuum him up.
Later phases introduce floating mines that must be dodged and/or used to send Clem into a spin. If your inflatable is burst at any point, wait a moment for Luigi to collect himself and you will be prompted to inflate a new one.
Defeating Clem rewards you with the elevator button for floor 10.
Boss Location: Sandy Grand Hall
Once you have made it back out of Pyramid, you will face off against the ghost who attempted to entomb you in the desert-room outside. Serpci takes the form of a giant sandy head that stalks you across the room. Use the game’s fascinating sand physics and vacuum up the giant face – once you’ve eaten into it sufficiently, medusa-like head snakes will appear to swipe at you. If you stand close these snakes will position to perform a big strike – butting their heads against the ground and leaving them vulnerable to a vacuum attack.
The head will then submerge and a bulge will chase after you – outrun it and repeat the vacuuming process. Eventually you will clear enough of the sand for Serpci to appear herself, surrounded by a circle of smaller sand snakes. These snakes will spit projectiles for you to dodge, and then leave you clear to blast Serpci with your Strobulb.
A later phase then follows wherein you must survive as the giant head teleports around, throws sandy fists at you (use the stomp move when they get close), then turns into a giant ball of sand and jumps at the ground (requiring you to jump over a shockwave). Take every opportunity to vacuum up the head – eventually it will return to the medusa snakes attack from which point you should be able to take Serpci out.
Defeating her gives you the button for floor 11.
Boss Location: Stage
The Twisted Suites Boss mixes things up by firstly featuring a trio of ghosts rather than just the one. The path to fighting them is also not entirely straightforward – not only will you encounter them taunting you as you travel from room to room, but once you reach their dressing room the order of rooms on the floor will suddenly be jumbled up – the room leading from the stage that you just entered will suddenly lead to a room on the other side of the floor.
Keep trying doors and you will eventually make it back to the stage, where the fight with the three Magician ghosts begins. They transport you to a hexagonal arena in a black void. Hiding in their giant top-hats, they will first throw playing cards at you, then they will circle around you in ever tighter circles before closing in for the kill. Stomp when they are close and all three top-hats will tip over.
Vacuum up one of the handkerchief chains peeking out of the hats to bring a ghost out into the open for the Strobulb and vacuum treatment. Repeat the process for the other two ghosts, with the twist that each ghost you remove will be replaced by a bomb, requiring you to keep your eye on which hats still contain ghosts. The last ghost is particularly difficult, requiring that you keep track of the target top hat while the lights turn on and off (our only advice if this is causing you particular trouble is that you could try using the Switch’s 30 second screen recording function to work it out).
Vacuum up your third and final Magician ghost and you’ll receive the elevator button for floor 12.
Boss Location: Beach (Ghost Ship)
After calling the ghost ship ashore, step aboard and face the vicious Shark ghost Captain Fishook as he possess the timbers of the ship (recalling the Link’s Awakening boss, Façade). In addition to dodging this snarling face as it tears along the deck of the ship, explosive kegs thrown by the ghostly crew provide another obstacle – and the means of attacking the ship. Vacuum up a keg and blow to roll it towards the face as it opens.
Three kegs will throw Captain Fishook clear, at which point he will stalk you with his hooked fin. Dodge his swings until he dramatically plants the hook into the deck – Strobulb and vacuum him to reduce his health. Repeat the above for a second phase.
In the third and final phase, Fishook will try another approach – he possesses the front of the ship which begins diving bow-first into the water. At the right of the screen will be a board with a target on it – fire your plunger and use your vacuum to hold on for dear life as the ship-face chomps on everything falling its way.
The ship will right itself and the ghost crew will again throw barrels to your end of the boat – roll barrels into the open mouth, saving yourself with the board as required, and Captain Fishook will eventually be thrown clear for the final time. In addition to his hook swipes, expect to jump over him as he bull-rushes you through the deck. Sap the last of his health to claim the elevator button for Floor 13 (free your final toad-friend while you’re at it).
Boss Location: Pool
The ghost to have most visibly skipped leg day (an achievement, considering that only the ghost animals definitely have legs), Johnny Deepend quickly tosses water polo balls and is quick to target Gooigi with a mouthful of water. The main goal here is relatively simple – get Gooigi through the fences either side of the pool and have him survive long enough to blow air at the valve on the back wall, ultimately draining the pool.
This is achieved by keeping both characters behind cover – Luigi behind either the scoreboard or pool starting blocks (in order to avoid the ball tosses), and Gooigi behind either of the two pillars on the north side of the pool (keeping him dry). Luigi can stun Johnny Deepend by throwing a ball at him with the Poltergust whenever he leaps above the water to attack. Use the window this stun creates to move Gooigi behind the pillar, and then use the valve (there isn’t enough time to do both, however).
With the pool drained, Deepend gets wedged in the bottom of the pool. Drop-in, stomp to stun him, vacuum up his goggles and finish him off with the Strobulb/vacuum combo. You will receive the floor 14 button, though it will again be snatched by Polterkitty when you return to add it to the directory.
Boss Location: Weight Room, Gym Lobby / Beach / Lounge
This repeat Polterkitty encounter plays out more or less identically to that on Floor 8 and 7, so the same strategies apply here. The only differences are that the pesky puss will disappear to the lower floor twice, and that you actually defeat it once and for all when facing off against it in the Lounge on Floor 11.
Polterkitty can be chased out of the punching bag in the weight room with a thrown boxing glove. It must be vacuumed from below in the Gym Lobby, is in a keg on the beach and is inside the sword-filled casket on the stage (plunger and pull with both Luigi and Gooigi).
Once the fight is over, you will capture Polterkitty and can finally travel to Floor 14.
Boss Location: Dance Floor
Climb up to the dance floor and pick up the button for Floor 15 – Luigi will optimistically hold it aloft, only to be blown away by a sonic blast from the soundsystem. Enter DJ Phantasmagloria, who keeps the beat while a crew of tracksuit wearing Goober ghosts pop and locks with their hoods up.
In this first phase, you will need to stomp (ZL+ZR) in the crowd of ghosts to find the one who holds the elevator button. Once revealed, this ghost will throw the button to another ghost – keep an eye on which one – and then all ghosts will head-spin before doing the worm. While they’re jumping along the floor, stomp again next to the ghost with the button, Strobulb them and vacuum them up.
Luigi will then accidentally fire the button to DJ Phantasmagloria, who takes to the stage to fight for herself. She will spin around with razor-sharp records, and will set a number of records spinning in place to be dodged. Stomp near her to knock her afro wig up in the air, leaving her vulnerable to the Strobulb. Attack her with the vacuum and repeat until she is captured, and the button for the fifteenth and final floor is yours.
Boss Location: Hotel Roof
Your team-up with Mario is unfortunately short-lived and the whole supporting cast ends up back in paintings, leaving you to take down King Boo alone (though at least you have Gooigi to help out). King Boo has the following attacks:
- Waves of lightning strikes on the squares of a 4x4 grid, requiring you to move out of illuminated squares to safety
- A move where King Boo repeatedly slaps the length of his tongue on the ground, again requiring you to move out of his line of fire
- Another tongue-utilising move where he sweeps the play-space in an arc, requiring Luigi to jump with ZL+ZR
- Balls of fire cast from his crown that bounce from the top of the screen to the bottom, that must be dodged
- A spiked-ball thrown into the arena that shatters revealing a number of bombs
Obviously, the latter attack is the one you’re waiting for. Pick up a bomb and launch it into King Boo’s mouth, and he will collapse, his tongue rolling out. One Luigi isn’t enough to take vacuum this up to take him down – you’ll need Gooigi to latch on as well.
The next phase does several things to up the ante:
- King Boo will bring in his own doppelganger, this will double the intensity of most first phase attacks (as there are, for instance, two sets of fireballs being thrown)
- A new stomp attack will be added, where both King Boos will successively and repeatedly slam into the floor near Luigi. The second will send out shockwaves as it lands (jump them, obviously)
- A hail of bombs for Luigi to dodge
- The replacement of the tongue-sweeping move – the King Boo’s will instead roll their tongues across the play-space, requiring Luigi to jump or walk under it, dependent on its height relative to his position
When throwing the bombs, it is necessary to hit the correct King Boo – the imposter should have a subtle red tint at the bottom of his crown gem and a brow that hangs lower, obscuring his eyes when he tilts down.
The third phase adds a third King Boo and a time-limit into the mix, making it even more important to find the right King Boo to attack. Defeat him and you’ve reached the end of the adventure.
Boss Location: Main Observation Room
Hellen Gravely’s boss arena is a two-level affair, asking you to juggle controlling Luigi above ground (dodging the central barrier/laser pillar and Gravely’s attacks) while Gooigi works below while to deactivate the barriers threatening Luigi (making it easier to take Gravely out).
At the beginning of the battle you will want to jump or outrun the single red laser. When Gravely appears, send Gooigi down the nearest drain (these are in the upper left and lower right corners – you can use the green pipes to get to these drains if you start in the wrong quarter of the room). While keeping an eye on the hazards bearing down on Luigi, use Gooigi to flip/pull switches and navigate through barriers underground. For example, if starting from the lower right drain:
- Head up to plunger-pull the purple switch
- Expell air from the Poltergust to rotate the barrier to the left and head through
- Get to the green switch in the upper left by walking through the grate
- Pull the yellow switch in the mid-left, blowing on the rotating barrier if necessary
- Plunger-pull the orange switch in the south
It may be overkill to disable all four barriers. Taking out three will usually give you enough space to take stage an attack on Gravely – which involves getting close enough to lunge at you and have her stick her handmirror into the ground, leaving her open for the ol’ bulb and vacuum.
Subsequent phases will see a temporary rush of water to the lower floors, requiring you to re-send Gooigi down below periodically. The upper floors also get raked for longer with a rotating wall of three lasers, and later a double wall of six lasers (both of which must be outrun and cannot be jumped).
Eventually you’ll do enough damage to add Gravely to your ghost collection. Free Mario, team up with him and go in search of Princess Peach and King Boo.
Phew, you made it to the end! If you enjoyed Luigi's Mansion 3, let us know which were your favourite boss fights in the comments below.