|Mario & Luigi character|
|First game||Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (2003)|
|Voiced by||Nami Funashima (2009)|
Fawful, known in Japan as Gerakobits (ゲラコビッツ Gerakobittsu?), is a fictional character in the Mario & Luigi series of role-playing video games developed by AlphaDream. The character is considered to be "insane," often serving as or the sidekick to the main antagonist in the games.
Fawful's dialogue was localized in English-speaking countries to parody the poorly translated English prevalent in early video games; it is schizophasic in nature, rife with non sequiturs. Fawful has received generally positive reception from both critics and fans due in part to his dialogue as well as his villainy.
Concept and creation
Fawful is a Beanish character and a major antagonist in the Mario series. He was created by Masanori Sato, who worked as the illustrator for Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the first game in the Mario & Luigi series. Fawful's Japanese name, Gerakobits, is derived from geragera, the Japanese onomatopoeia for a scornful laugh, while his English name is a pun on the word "awful."
Because Fawful was not based on any existing characters in the Mario series, the Nintendo Treehouse, which is responsible for localizing games for North American audiences, had more creative freedom in writing for the character. Bill Trinen and Nate Bihldorff, both employees of the Treehouse, wrote the English dialogue for Fawful through the exchange of notes. Rather than sticking close to the original Japanese script, where Fawful simply adds "Fururururu!" to the end of every line, Trinen and Bihldorff intended to make Fawful as "wacky" and "crazy" as possible in the Western release. Thus, in English versions of the games, all of Fawful's dialogue consists of broken English and word salads, including his catchphrase "I HAVE FURY!" In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Fawful is voiced by Nami Funashima.
Fawful first appeared in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga where he was the sidekick to the primary antagonist, Cackletta. Fawful assisted Cackletta by helping her steal Princess Peach's voice in order to awaken the Beanstar, a magical item capable of granting wishes. After Cackletta is brutally defeated by Mario and Luigi, Fawful revives her by transferring her soul into the body of Bowser, possessing him. The Mario brothers later defeat Fawful and kill Cackletta.
In the first sequel, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Fawful works as a shopkeeper in the basement of Princess Peach's castle, continuing to plot his revenge against Mario and Luigi. In the next sequel, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Fawful served as the primary antagonist and villain, assisted by his sidekick Midbus. In the game, he causes Bowser to inhale Mario and Luigi into his body, and infects the residents of the Mushroom Kingdom with the "Blorbs" disease. He plotted to possess of the power of an evil entity called the Dark Star, but is defeated by Mario, Luigi, and Bowser. He doesn't appear in the fourth game.
Fawful has received generally positive reception from both critics and fans. Editors for Nintendo Power listed him as their fifth favorite villain and wrote that that "the Mario bros. may be the bread that makes the sandwich of the Mario & Luigi series, but Fawful is the delicious mustard on that bread." 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish called Fawful a "jabbering lunatic whose broken English made Superstar Saga so hilarious". In another article, he used Fawful as an example of a character that Nintendo should include in the Mario Kart series over characters such as Waluigi and Bowser Jr. Eurogamer Italy's Dario Tomaselli described him as one of the most humorous enemies in the Mario series.GamesRadar's Henry Gilbert wrote that the antagonists from Partners in Time "have nothing" on Fawful and that his cameo in the game was welcome to him. IGN AU's Cam Shea wrote that while Fawful had "unique cadence", it was "a little tiresome"; he also felt that Fawful should have remained a sidekick. IGN's Lucas M. Thomas included him and Cackletta in a list of "wizard/witch"-type characters he would like to see in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. commenting that "these two characters, Fawful in particular, became quick fan favorites." Official Nintendo Magazine's Chris Scullion called him "one of the funniest characters from the previous games". The Daily Telegraph's Nick Cowen and Tom Hoggins called Fawful an "even nastier character" than Bowser. IGN's Audrey Drake rated Fawful as one of the weirdest Mario characters. Additionally, IGN also stated Fawful as one of the characters they wanted in Mario Kart 7, saying that "his mannerisms and jokes were so genuinely hilarious, then, that fans fell head over heels in love with him." GamesRadar ranked Fawful thirty-ninth in their 2013 list of the best villains in video game history.
Fawful has received significant praise for his dialogue. Nintendo Power included the quote "I have fury!" among their collection of classic quotes in Nintendo games. Editors for GamesRadar named him the Runner Up for the "Most Quotable Character" award in 2009; he lost to the character Ellis from Left 4 Dead 2. Game Informer's Joe Juba wrote that Fawful's appearance in Bowser's Inside Story "ensures plenty of hilariously nonsensical one-liners". GameSpy's Phil Theobald called him "hilarious" and "endlessly quotable". GamePro's Alicia Ashby also called him "endlessly quotable" and wrote that "everything Fawful does and says is awesome". G4TV's Tim Stevens compared Fawful's dialogue to singer Björk's. Giant Bomb's Brad Shoemaker called him a "hilarious verbal contortionist". Video Gamer's Wesley Yin-Poole wrote that his "incorrect syntax" was humorous, and cited such quotes as "Beef? I am lacking in beef. Fawful is beefless", and "A WINNER IS YOU!" as examples. RPGamer's Mike Moehnke commented that Fawful was "amusing" and a "most captivating villain to watch" due to his speech patterns. Nevertheless, he criticized the plot when it became about a "great power that Fawful is seeking to unearth" even though the game does not take the plot very seriously.
Kotaku's Michael McWhertor wrote that Fawful will be "delivering ace dialogue" in Bowser's Inside Story. Editor Stephen Totilo called the line "I am the mustard of your doom!" one of the most famous lines in video games of recent years; he added that while it did not compare to famous film quotes such as "I'll be back" from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" from Gone with the Wind, or "Bond – James Bond" from the James Bond series, it was "quoted with uncommon frequency". Eurogamer's John Walker called Fawful "so brilliantly spoke in badly translated Japanese game-speak" and wrote that his dialogue was the "ultimate in-joke". The New York Times' Charles Herold called him the best character in Superstar Saga, and cited the quote mentioned by Totilo above for this. He added that "it's the only Game Boy game I've played that made me laugh out loud". The Globe and Mail's Chad Sapieha called Fawful the "true villain" of the Mario & Luigi series and called his dialogue "memorable". GameSpot's Ricardo Torres called him a "chatty, ungrammatical nightmare". Bitmob's Brian Shirk called Fawful's "nerd-speak" "unique".
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- AlphaDream (2003-11-17). Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Game Boy Advance. Nintendo. Level/area: Beanbean Castle. "The Beanstar is the protector of this land, and it has the power to grant any and all desires... to prevent such a power from being used for evil, the Beanstar was cast into a deep sleep... It is said that a voice of great beauty is required to wake the Beanstar from its slumber. It must be the voice of a pure and nobel soul... In this day and age, Princess Peach is the only one who possesses such a voice. So... the reason Cackletta stole Princess Peach's voice... Aha! She must plan to awaken the Beanstar and fulfill all of her desires!"
- AlphaDream (2003-11-17). Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Game Boy Advance. Nintendo. Level/area: Little Fungitown. "Fawful: Cackletta's power has poured into this Koopa who is king! The body is of Bowser, but the mind is all of the great Cackletta!"
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- Shoemaker, Brad (2009-11-02). "Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story Review". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
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