DS

Waluigi, We Hardly Knew Ye

The time I fooled the world

by Andrew Brown - December 7, 2011, 10:41 am PST

Or: how an April Fool's joke can become infamous.

Waluigi's trickery knows no boundaries. Such is his presence on the gaming world that our own Andrew Brown decided to prank the world into believing that Waluigi was indeed in Super Mario 64 DS, just like many had convinced us that Luigi was in the original Super Mario 64. But Waluigi is so sneaky that it seems that the joke's on Andrew. Check out this story on how an urban legend came to be. - Pedro Hernandez

I'm going to tell you a story about a certain piece of artwork that somehow became famous.

After graduating from a multimedia course involving 3D modeling and animation a few years ago, I entered an obsessive phase of endlessly churning out 3D fan art, trying to replicate characters as best I could within my own humble polygon-crafting skills. Around March 2005, Super Mario 64 DS had been out in Australia for about a month, and I was enamored by the improvements over the original game.

I thought back to the time of the original N64 game's release, and the countless claims that Luigi was somehow included as an unlockable character had choked the internet left right and center. There were so many doctored screenshots of varying quality, some went so far as to place a pre-rendered artwork scan of Luigi in his Mario Kart 64 go-kart onto Bobomb Battlefield.

I enjoyed the absurdity of the thing and reading the ridiculously lengthy instructions on how to unlock him in their games, and I wanted to replicate that with my own parody for the new generation, a kind of homage to the campy legacy. After all, Mario, Luigi and Wario all made an appearance in the game's remake, what was the next logical step?

I opened up my old LightWave 5.6 3D software began the process of building a simplified, blocky model of Waluigi that I could position into various poses, while trying to match the low polygon models seen in the game. Despite some challenges like the amount of fingerless balooning that his hands should have to match the other characters, and some textures that somehow sported too much anti-aliasing (such as the Ls on his gloves), I think I did a halfway decent job. Heck, on my crappy old PC monitor the purple of his clothes even matched the color seen on the official artwork in the top right of the page there. While writing this feature I've searched for the original .lwo 3D model file, but alas, it has been lost into the void of my countless old backup CDs.

This half-finished test render of the 3D model was the only thing I found.

Using some PhotoShop trickery with copy and paste techniques, I crafted a bunch of screenshots and layered the model renders in his various poses over the top. I thought up some examples of special abilities and Power Flower affects that would befit Waluigi and set him apart from the other playable characters in the game, and concocted an elaborate checklist of conditions to meet before he would appear in the game. Finally, my work was complete. I was a little concerned about the amount of unused white space at the bottom of the page, but April 1st was fast approaching and I didn't want to make it too believable.

I posted the picture onto my DeviantArt account with a deliberately poorly-written story of how "i found it in sum gamer magazeen and scaned it lolz", and with sneakiness to rival the purple clad character himself, distributed it around to a couple of smalltime gaming forums.

A week or so later, my friend whose host server I had uploaded the image to came at my throat, ranting about a sudden spike in traffic that massively exceeded their monthly allocation, resulting in a large penalty charge. Research showed that the image had spread like wildfire and had been hot-linked on dozens of pages, particularly one popular Chinese site where a large portion of the hits had come from. The image, which I simply titled "Waluigi in Super Mario 64 DS", had been unofficially renamed "Purple Prizes" after the "article" page I had supposedly scanned it from, and mention of it was popping up all over the place. Some had even said that it had been featured on IGN, and was rumored to be in one old issue of Nintendo Power (which isn't published or sold here and I've been unable to properly confirm).

Ah, good old-fashioned photo manipulation.

The weeks became months, then years, and the topic was still hotly being debated on bulletin boards, chat rooms and gaming blogs. People had begun to decide it completely necessary to comment on my DeviantArt gallery, warning people to "Beware, this is fake! I saw it on this gaming site and it's not real, it's a hoax!!" even though just 2 days after posting it I had clearly stated for all to see that it was indeed a fabrication of my very own and detailed the process behind making it.

It got scarier. With the introduction of YouTube and its rise in popularity, several videos pointing out the "flaws" that "proved it was a fake" emerged, in which the posters meticulously comb over every pixel searching for telltale clues of the picture's forgery. What's really hilarious is that most of the reasoning that's mentioned is based on their wild imaginations. Claims that the 3D model had a yellow C on Waluigi's hat rather than an upside down L, Waluigi's buttons being the wrong color, claims that it was impossible to defeat the Chain Chomp wearing Waluigi's hat, the list went on. Most of these accusations stemmed from the unintended anti-aliasing and pixelation of the renders, which was amplified when they zoomed in to such an extent.

Hilariously, they even started to point out parts of the images that had no manipulation done to them whatsoever, such as the yellow tone of Wario's hat on the overhead map screenshot or the type of hat the Goomba was wearing in the background of the snow picture. My favorite was in reference to the pic of Waluigi sleeping in the center, "Also this hall is from Super Mario 64...FOR THE N64". Was this person unaware that the DS version of the game was a remake featuring mostly the same areas as the original game? The screenshot I used was most definitely taken from the DS version, not the original.

And finally, this year, the whole thing has come full circle; somebody on DeviantArt actually posted my picture on their own gallery, with a claim that they found it in a gaming magazine and scanned it for the benefit of all who see.

There are still many remnants of this craze circling the net now, you're welcome to Google "Purple Prizes" and see what comes up. If you're one of the people who was angered by this back in the day, I encourage you to do better and show me.

My art skills have improved considerably in the six years since then and I'm always contemplating trying a new trick to see if I can garner the same reaction. Any suggestions?

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 03, 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.

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?!

Donk it up KongDecember 03, 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 03, 2011

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

Donk it up KongDecember 03, 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 03, 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 03, 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 03, 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 03, 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 03, 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 03, 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 03, 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 03, 2011

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

Chozo GhostDecember 03, 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 03, 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 03, 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 04, 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 04, 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 04, 2011

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

hckDecember 04, 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"

Invincible Kongey Donk KongDecember 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.

Donkenada KongDecember 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.

Donk it up KongDecember 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.

Donkario KongJune 20, 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...

Donkario KongJuly 25, 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 25, 2013

What has Pap been up to?

Donkepal148 KongJuly 25, 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)

Donk-Nick KongJuly 25, 2013

2016: The Year of Waluigi.

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