A positive look at Waluigi
“Uh-oh! What’s going on here?!”
These words appeared in the Nintendo 64 game Mario Tennis in August 2000, they had appeared the month before hand in Japan albeit in Japanese. It was November that EU received the game and there was a collective response from gamers at the time “What’s going on here?” That was a good question, although just what did it refer to? Were we wondering how Boo who’s a ghost is able to hold a tennis racket and despite being too scared to look anyone in the face in the main Mario games is now able to face his opponent to plat tennis. Were we trying to remember who Daisy was as she made her first playable appearance in a game which was only her third appearance in one in eleven years? Were we confused that DK Jr. is an unlockable character despite being told that DK Jr. grew up to be the current Donkey Kong? Or maybe we were shocked that Baby Mario thinks he has a chance against anyone without going into the ins and outs of the butterfly effect that this probably caused…nope it was Waluigi.
What’s in a name?
Brought in as an antagonist for Luigi he caused a lot of controversy straight off the bat, mainly for his stupid name. Whilst Wario worked as it was simply turning the M upside down to create a clever pun here they just added the “Wa” bit in front of Luigi making it evil Luigi (as the “Wa” bit comes from the Japanese word for evil albeit an abbreviation). Though if you’re Japanese or even speak Japanese you realise just how clever the name is, firstly the “L” and “R” sound in Japanese are the same so Luigi could be called “Ruiji” and Waluigi “Waruiji.” Still with me? Good. As I mentioned earlier the Wa bit was the abbreviation of the Japanese word for bad/evil which is “warui” now mix that with the “Ruiji” and you get a portmanteau of “Waruiji” translated to English as “Waluigi.” Clever.
A rather odd appearance
Likened to Dick Dastardly in his appearance Waluigi is your typical 1930’s villain, he has a huge moustache a comedy nose and looks evil, indeed! Whilst many think the appearance is rather stupid the more you look into it the more it makes sense If you look at Wario he’s a shorter and fatter version of Mario, his moustache shapes into a “W.” Waluigi is a skinnier version of Luigi, taller than he is and his moustache shapes into an “L.” The main beef people have is with the colour, why purple? Mario is Red, Luigi is Green, Wario is Yellow so it would make sense to have a dark blue colour or something the like. It’s a simple enough reason but before Super Mario Bros. Luigi appeared in Mario Bros. as well as Wrecking Crew and in that game he wore Purple so it’s a nice little tribute to Luigi’s past. Clever.
His relationship with Wario
Are they brothers? Probably but the trophy in Melee states “While it’s general knowledge that he’s the same age as Luigi, his relationship to Wario is unclear.” and the Brawl trophy also states “While the nature of his relationship to Wario is a mystery, the pair have hatched some devious schemes together.” So even if they’re not brothers then they have a good working relationship, I think they are siblings due to their rather similar appearance to each other. It would be nice for Wario to invite him along to one of his WarioWare parties. Intriguing isn’t it?
His role in the Nintendo Universe
With over Twenty Five appearances in games over the past Eleven years Waluigi has been welcomed into the Nintendo family with open arms although he seems to just be in a sporting role. Whether it’s football, baseball, tennis, karting or just the Mario Party games he’s been there and shown just what he’s capable of. That being said the closest he’s come to an appearance in a main game is a cameo suit in Paper Mario Thousand Year door. Maybe he’s aware of just how much merchandise is out there for him, or maybe he’s just biding his time before he attacks the Mushroom Kingdom. Genius.