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Waluigi, We Hardly Knew Ye

by Pedro Hernandez - December 3, 2011, 3:24 pm PST
Total comments: 42

As we mourn the loss (?) of our beloved anti-Luigi, we look back at his rise and mostly downfall.

Well, it doesn't make sense to ignore the elephant in the room any longer. Mario Kart 7 is coming out and outlets have confirmed that Waluigi has been left out of the competition. In his place are the EXTREMELY beloved characters Metal Mario, Queen Bee and Wiggler. This absence has made people wonder what exactly happened to Waluigi. I thought this would be a great time to look back at the character and how he went from being universally hated to genuinely missed by gamers around the world.

Waluigi was first conceived by Camelot when developing Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64. They figured that since Mario had a bizarro version in Wario, Luigi could also use a freakish clone of his own. And thus, Wario and Waluigi were introduced as partners in crime, hoping to take out Mario and Luigi for good...at tennis, at least. Mario Tennis was heavily advertised as the debut of Waluigi, who was prominently featured in the game's intro and throughout the marketing campaign, including a flash mini-game on the Mario Tennis website where you could clip Waluigi's toenails and collect the clippings in a jar. Classy marketing right there.


The most common complaint people had with Waluigi is that he is a very structurally basic character. He is just Wario turned into Luigi and given a black and purple color scheme. While that may not seem like a bad thing, Wario was at least given his own personality and storyline away from Mario. Wario was originally created as a villain for Mario to defeat in Super Mario Land 2 on the Game Boy, but then Wario was so captivating that the development team decided to give him his own game. In those games, Wario was not only given a personality but his own set of powers and needs. Wario is greedy—he loves treasures —and thus goes on adventures in hopes of obtaining riches. He does so using his incredible strength, ability to take on different powers, and lots and lots of gas. This alone made him a very legit character, someone that was completely different from the character that inspired him. And that's not even taking into account that years later he was also turned into a pseudo-video game developer in his own universe, complete with other characters to interact with.

Waluigi? Well, he was never given anything to do other than being a glorified accesory to Wario. In the sports games he was Wario's partner, yes, and a well-rounded character in the other games for sure, but even the questionable storylines set throughout some of the Mario games made it look like Wario had no idea who he was and thus no real reason was given for his existence. He was designed as a rival to Luigi, but they never did anything with him to further fuel this rivalry. He was absent in both the Wario Land and WarioWare games, and ONLY made appearances in the Mario multiplayer games as a playable character. It didn't help that he too was voiced by Charles Martinet, and his performance was hardly different from Mario, Luigi and Wario.

He was similar to a Sonic the Hedgehog character in that he was created to pad out the supporting cast. But while Sega at least TRIED to convince us to give a crap about cute forest creature with an attitude #384, Nintendo just didn't bother to give Waluigi his own story. Granted, they barely give us any story behind any of their characters, but with Mario we know that he is a plucky plumber on a never ending quest to save Peach from Bowser, that Luigi is a shy, cowardly man who is unfortunately left behind his older brother's shadow, and that Wario loves money. Waluigi was just... there.


Being there, however, was apparently good enough for some players, as he gained a small cult following. Waluigi seemed to obtain nothing but universal hate for the reasons I already stated, but many players decided to give him a chance, and fell in love with his...I don't know exactly. And in the hands of some capable developers, Waluigi was given an outlandish personality that clashed heavily with the rest of the character. Such was the case with Mario Strikers Charged, a game that gave Waluigi his infamous crotch chop celebration. Camelot, the originators of the character, could also do wonders with him in terms of humor and presentation.

To put things into better perspective regarding gamers' love/hate relationship with Waluigi, he was like that one cousin you don't really know or understand but at least he was present at all the family gatherings, and you lament it when he misses one. And that is precisely what happened with Mario Kart 7. Waluigi is gone from the roster, replaced with the T-1000 version of Mario, aka Metal Mario.

The question is... why? A lot of clues seem to lead to the fact that Mario Kart 7 was a rushed game and thus the time to program him into the game was not there. Or maybe someone at *Retro hated him so much the only way they could work on the game was if he was absent from the final roster. This case becomes even more unbelievable when you realize that Waluigi Pinball from Mario Kart DS is presented as a retro track. Whatever the case may be, we feel sad that the cheaply created purple plumber is gone from this Mario Kart effort.


Things do seem bright, however, and it isn't the end of the world it seems. Not only do we have the upcoming release of Fortune Street for Wii, Mario Party 9 will be landing next year. Those are two bonafide chances for Waluigi to shine once more.

Putting aside all the sarcasm regarding Waluigi, it just goes to show how gamers actually pay attention to these characters, regardless if they like them or not. Nintendo may not be masters at storytelling, but they definitely know how to present a character, and even if Waluigi does seem to be a little too derivative of the two characters that inspired him he did have enough of a personality that his absence in Mario Kart 7 seem more jarring than usual.

*Nintendo World Report can't really speak on behalf of Retro and its employees. For all we know the ones responsible for Waluigi's disappearance could be Nintendo EAD, to which we implore you to send properly written letters. Of course, we (and by we I mean me) could also be wrong about that, so let us forget we ever discussed and exchanged conspiracy theories about Waluigi's disappearance, OK?

Images

Talkback

John E GDecember 03, 2011

wow... I'm sorry you took to write such a long article about Waluigi haha

KDR_11kDecember 03, 2011

I've only really seen him in Mario Kart Double Dash where he seemed completely insane, the kind of guy who you'd want to stick into an asylum before he blows up an orphanage just to see if that makes it rain cheese.

Chozo GhostDecember 04, 2011

Wario made more sense because you turn an M upside down and it becomes W. But there is no M in Luigi, so I never really agreed with the Waluigi name. Maybe they should have just had his name spelled backwards or something, to make him like a backwards Luigi. Have him named Igiul or something.

I'm not sure if he can really be considered part of the Nintendo canon anyway since it was Camelot and not Miyamoto or whoever who invented him.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Staff AlumnusDecember 04, 2011

Of all the evil Nintendo characters, Waluigi is the most "warui" of them all.
I'm not bothered that they took him out, remember the stupid baby characters got taken out too. (FINALLY)




But yeah, the replacement characters they chose are just stupid. Metal Mario? WHy not Cosmic Mario, at least he's a different entity altogether, not just Mario with a power up!
What's next, driving as a warp-pipe on an item-box?!

Mop it upDecember 04, 2011

This was a nice article. I just wish I saw this level of fandom for other Mario characters who miss out on games like this and others. There are a lot of interesting Mario characters out there who deserve both more exposure and fans.

In the case of Waluigi though, I wouldn't worry about it. As this article speculates, Mario Kart 7 probably didn't get the development time it needed due to the lack of compelling software on the 3DS, so someone had to be cut for them to add new characters. Since Waluigi has yet to appear in a mainline Mario game, he is expendable. Even Daisy has the luxury of appearing in Super Mario Land.

Waluigi has appeared in every spin-off game since his debut in Mario Tennis, so after ten years he was bound to miss one game. It'll probably be another ten before he misses another. I've always felt that he would be much more accepted if he ever appears in one of Wario's games, which would be a good way to add co-op to the Wario Land series. Whether that happens or not though, he'll always be one of the Elite 8.

ThanerosDecember 04, 2011

wasn't he in one of the Mario Rpg's? I never played it but I remember the sprite.

Mop it upDecember 04, 2011

Quote from: Thaneros

wasn't he in one of the Mario Rpg's? I never played it but I remember the sprite.

I don't think so. The only game I know of that he appeared in with sprites is Game and Watch Gallery 4.

JasonMaiviaDecember 04, 2011

I never liked Waluigi.
I hate the babies.
Where's Tiny Kong (all grow'd up version)?
As long as Daisy is around, I'm happy.  Plus, I think that she could also star in her own adventure/action game and appear in Smash Bros., but not as a clone or palatte swap.

Chozo GhostDecember 04, 2011

He may have made a brief cameo appearance in one of those scenes in the RPG games where everyone in the Mushroom Kingdom was outside watching the fireworks.

Pedro, thank you for writing this. I am a vocal proponent of Waluigi and will miss his bizarre presence in MK7. Let's hope this is only a temporary suspension for the best tennis player in the Mario universe.


By the way, there is a fan-made game called Psychic Waluigi that I recommend checking out. It's not just a sprite hack but a very thoughtful and well designed 2D platformer with unique mechanics.

DiscostewDecember 04, 2011

If MK7 has the possibility of DLC in the future, they could always add him in that way.

Waluigi's my character in every game that features him, so I'm pretty upset at his exclusion from Mario 3D Kart. He'd better be back for the new Mario Tennis game.

ThePermDecember 04, 2011

yeah, I prefer Waluigi to Wario. He has more of that tie a damsel to a traintrack look. Best character to play Tennis as too.

JasonMaiviaDecember 04, 2011

Most of Nintendo's characters are a bunch of nobodies, because Nintendo doesn't want to include them in anything but sports, party games, and Smash bros (usually only as a trophy). With games that'll give them chances to stand out and grow personalities, they'll remain as part of a goofball cast of shallow weirdos.

RasDecember 04, 2011

I'm glad for the addition of Wiggler and Honey Queen.  They're cute.  I wouldn't mind the roster having been expanded instead of some of these guys being replaced, but I don't hate the new ones.  I do wish for Shadow Mario instead of Metal, though.  I'd like to hear his maniacal utterances while lapping his opponents (and, how about an instant wipeout of regular Mario if Shadow Mario touched him?).

the asylumDecember 04, 2011

Mario Kart 7 is coming out and outlets have confirmed that Waluigi has been left out of the competition.

And nothing of value was lost

ThePermDecember 04, 2011

i remember when Waluigi was announced, I was like coooooool.

Chozo GhostDecember 04, 2011

Quote from: Ras

I'm glad for the addition of Wiggler and Honey Queen.

Aren't Wiggler and the Honey Queen way too large to ever possibly fit in a Kart? Wiggler isn't so much large as he is long, so he could drive a train I guess, but the Queen is so huge that Mario literally crawls on her belly like a flea, so she would have to drive some huge building sized Kart, and with that she could easily run over all the other karts...

JasonMaiviaDecember 04, 2011

Quote from: Chozo

Quote from: Ras

I'm glad for the addition of Wiggler and Honey Queen.

So was Rosalina, but they still shrunk her.
Isn't the Honey Queen way too large to ever possibly fit in a Kart?

RasDecember 04, 2011

Bowser's too big, too.  They like to fudge these things for Kart.

Just, like, 12 hours until this is mine.

NinSageDecember 04, 2011

Waluigi and "the babies" have always been some of my least favorite characters in the entire Mushroom Kingdom. Good riddance!!

Is Metal Mario a good addition? Hell no. That's should be some kind of unlockable alternate suit at best.
Is Honey Queen a good addition? No... though it does remind me of my favorite power-up, the Bee suit.
Is Wiggler a good addition? Not at all.
Will I miss Dry Bones? Hell yes. He was (one of) my boys!

Is it all worth it for Shy Guy? Well... no.... but it's close! =P

AdrockDecember 04, 2011

There are several ways Nintendo can justify Waluigi's existence. The easiest would be to just put him in a Wario game as a sidekick or player 2. They could start by exploring several missing aspects of Waluigi's character, namely his relationship to Wario or lack of one. Wario is so self-centered that he pretends or even forgets that he has a brother (assuming they're brothers). Sounds about right.

Wario was created as a Mario's foil, a sort of anti-Mario, a parody. More than simply acting as Luigi's opposite, Waluigi is, in a way, a parody of Wario. If you made a bootleg version of Wario, you'd get Waluigi. He has similar facial features as Wario, but he's lanky and even smarmier. Wario can play the anti-hero, Waluigi kind of just looks like a dick because of how little thought and effort seems put into his character. Wario's existence is clever, Waluigi's is not. He looks like a cheap imitation that you throw into a spin-off sports game, instead of a character you're supposed to give a damn about.

Still, personally, I think that's what makes Waluigi interesting. I don't think Waluigi can carry his own game, but I'm intrigued enough to play a game that explored his character. Besides being a parody of a parody, Waluigi is basically a clean slate and Nintendo could have a lot of fun with a game that paired Wario and Waluigi and mocked the Mario tradition. The princess is in another castle? Oh well. Shoulder check Toad and steal his gold coins. They could do a lot with the gameplay due to how physically different they are. If Wario is oafish and overwhelms opponents with his strength, would that make Waluigi graceful and refined due to being extra frail? Super Wario Bros. could be the best and funniest platformer ever.

JasonMaiviaDecember 04, 2011

I agree that Metal should have been an alternate color/suit.  It could have also been a powerup that allows you to not be fazed by attacks and track hazards (except falling) for a brief moment.  Maybe even have it allow you to easily bump other players hard to the side of the road/off track with your added weight.

5kytarDecember 05, 2011

Why did you die Waluigi! Why did you leave us in this time of Kart Racing. You were the best quirky sidekick villain  ever! I will miss you in Mario Kart 7...

ThePermDecember 05, 2011

they haven't done Wario Bros yet? I could have sworn they did. I would love a Waluigi game, something where you got to be a dick to get anywhere. Something like torturing sheep or something. In a lot of games you run into npc characters and you have to help them, but in a Waluigi game your goal would be to make the situation worse.

MarioKart7December 05, 2011

I dislike Waluigi so I dont care/mind if he is not in MK7

hckDecember 05, 2011

Quote from: Chozo

Wario made more sense because you turn an M upside down and it becomes W. But there is no M in Luigi, so I never really agreed with the Waluigi name. Maybe they should have just had his name spelled backwards or something, to make him like a backwards Luigi. Have him named Igiul or something.

I'm not sure if he can really be considered part of the Nintendo canon anyway since it was Camelot and not Miyamoto or whoever who invented him.

Wario and Waluigi have the "wa" in their names because in Japanese, "warui" means bad.  Thus "Wario" = "Bad Mario"

ZapDecember 05, 2011

Quote from: 5kytar

Why did you die Waluigi! Why did you leave us in this time of Kart Racing. You were the best quirky sidekick villain ever! I will miss you in Mario 3D Kart...

He's never really dead, so long as we find a way to remember him.

KhushrenadaDecember 05, 2011

When Waluigi was first introduced, I did think it was rather silly but thinking about it later, it made sense to me that a mirror version of Mario (Wario) should have a brother also. Personally, I firmly in the Waluigi camp and try to use him as much as possible in any games he is in as long as it isn't a big handicap.

When I play with my friends, we all know Waluigi is my guy. Believe it or not, it is the voice that sells me on the character same reason I dislike Luigi. Waluigi has a dishonest sound to his voice. He reminds me of a cliche 1930's gangster - "Wahhh. The coppers got nothin' on me, see? I gave them the ring around the rosie and flatfooted it to Chicago. Waaaaah."

I love his "You Lousy" taunt in Mario Party games. So perfect to use when another player has just acquired a star and the shimmering sound effects have just ended. I love to use that brief silent to voice my displeasure at the current turn of events with a "You Lousy" being all you can here.

Camelot seems to have the most fun with him. In their opening videos for their Mario Sports games, Waluigi always has gets the best gags. The Toadstool Tour opening video where he has an easy putt and keeps missing and his reaction ("Wah, I hate this game!") is a true to life experience we can all relate to. In the Mario Party games, Hudson seemed to catch on to this and gave him some great showboating poses for when he wins his Mini-game battles. He also seems to be the most upset at losing than any other competitor. I love that competative spirit he displays.

As someone else posted, he has a smarmy quality to him. I think it's the mustache. You can easily get a bumbling Inspector Closeau vibe with him as well as that Snidely Whiplash feel of villainy. Waluigi looks like the kind of guy that would sell out his mother to save himself. The kind of guy that the Police threaten in a back alley to get info from and then, after getting the info, they throw him in the slammer anyways because they just don't like him. A small-town with much grander aspirations he cannot fill no matter how much he tries.

Plus, he was the villain for Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix's story. So, he has some legitimacy to being included regularly in with the other Mario Cast.

ThePermDecember 05, 2011

awesome intros

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjU5KzVVUrw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoZ_Mwc7lNE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygcf2mGB4Uo

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 07, 2011

The feature has been updated with a story by Andrew Brown about how he pranked the world into believing that Waluigi was in Super Mario 64 DS:
http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/feature/28610

BlackNMild2k1December 10, 2011

I hope everyone longing for some facetime with Waluigi is planning on picking Fortune Street.

http://i43.tinypic.com/29ze74g.jpg

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 10, 2011

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

I hope everyone longing for some facetime with Waluigi is planning on picking Fortune Street.

http://i43.tinypic.com/29ze74g.jpg

He's in Mario and Sonic at the London Olympics, and I mentioned this at the end of this feature.

BlackNMild2k1December 10, 2011

I saw that you did, I was just posting a pic of him in Fortune Street because I read some good impressions about the game.

Mop it upDecember 10, 2011

Wow, I'm surprised I don't recall hearing about that Waluigi in Super Mario 64 DS prank. That seems like something I would have caught word of eventually, and I know I visited this site back then. That's a pretty funny story, and it seems you put a nice amount of work into it.

Lucariofan99June 21, 2013

Waliugi is awesome! He is a neutral, both helping and annoying the mario bros. I reckon he is one of the best nintendo chracters, because Nintendo does corny chracters better than anyone else! 

BTW Waluigi was in the MK8 demo at E3, so YEY!

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJune 21, 2013

Yup.  And the Best Buy demo.  He was my pick.

No Waluigi hat in Animal Crossing.  Wonder if that's something they can send out through DLC...

Lucariofan99July 26, 2013

Quote from: John

wow... I'm sorry you took to write such a long article about Waluigi haha

Just saying I'am a massive wario bros fan!
WHY DID THEY REPLACE HIM WITH HONEY QUEEN! :@

ShyGuyJuly 26, 2013

What has Pap been up to?

pokepal148July 26, 2013

Quote from: Lucariofan99

Quote from: John

wow... I'm sorry you took to write such a long article about Waluigi haha

Just saying I'am a massive wario bros fan!
WHY DID THEY REPLACE HIM WITH HONEY QUEEN! :@

because womens rights :D
besides the honey queen actually shows up in a mainline mario game(twice)

nickmitchJuly 26, 2013

2016: The Year of Waluigi.

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