|First game||Mario Tennis (2000)|
|Created by||Fumihide Aoki|
|Voiced by||Charles Martinet (2000–present)|
Waluigi (ワルイージ Waruīji?) is a fictional character in the Mario franchise. He plays the role of Luigi's rival and nemesis and accompanies Wario in spin-offs from the main Mario series, often for the sake of causing mischief. He was created by Camelot employee Fumihide Aoki and is voiced by Charles Martinet, who described Waluigi as someone who has a lot of self-pity and would "cheat to win."
Waluigi debuted in the game Mario Tennis as Luigi's rival and Wario's partner. Since then, he would remain a playable character in the main Mario series spin-offs, occasionally causing comedic mischief alongside Wario or antagonizing the rest of the characters, primarily Mario and Luigi. Since his debut, Waluigi has received mixed reception from fans and critics alike.
Creation and characteristics
Waluigi was created during the development of the game Mario Tennis, as the bitter rival to Luigi. He was created by Fumihide Aoki and is voiced by Charles Martinet. His name is a portmanteau of Luigi's name and the Japanese adjective warui (悪い) meaning "bad"; hence, a "bad Luigi".
Early statements describe Waluigi as "Wario's brains". He is said to be a mischievous, cunning man who dislikes the happiness of other characters. Martinet stated that the cornerstone of Waluigi's personality is one of self-pity, a character who feels that everything goes right for everyone but himself. As displayed in Mario Power Tennis and Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Waluigi features the ability to summon a body of water and swim towards each game's respective ball, which IGN editor Rob Burman describes as baffling.
He is the same age as Luigi, and wears black overalls, a dark purple long-sleeved shirt, a dark purple hat with a yellow "Γ" symbol, and white gloves with a yellow "Γ" symbol as well. When asked whether Waluigi was a brother to Wario, Martinet stated that while he did not know, he felt that they were just "two nice, evil guys who found each other."
Waluigi's first appearance was in the Mario Tennis games for the Game Boy Color and Nintendo 64, as Luigi's supposedly long time rival and Wario's doubles partner; he would remain partners with Wario in all later Mario Tennis games. Later, along with Princess Daisy, he joined the Mario Party series' roster in Mario Party 3, in which he owns an island full of traps and explosives. He has been a playable character in many entries in the series since, as well as various Mario sports games and the Mario Kart series. However, he did not appear in Mario Kart 7, explained by Yasuyuki Oyagi (one of the game's directors) as due to time constraints. However, he reappeared as a playable character in Mario Kart 8. In several of the various sports games, Waluigi gets exclusive abilities, stages, and/or vehicles, the latter two in the case of the Mario Kart series.
He acts as the main antagonist in Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, in which he wreaks havoc in the Mushroom Kingdom by pilfering special objects called the Music Keys to hypnotize the world with his dancing, hoping to conquer it and spread chaos. The rest of the keys are held by Blooper, Wario, and Bowser respectively. Despite all of this Waluigi has never been in a major Mario series game that is not sports or puzzle related. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Waluigi is one of the characters who can be summoned using the Assist Trophy item, and his palette appears as one of Luigi's alternate costumes. Waluigi returns as an Assist Trophy yet again in the sequel, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. During Waluigi's reveal on the official website, game director Masahiro Sakurai jokingly stated that "just because you try hard doesn't mean you'll make it into the battle."  Mario Tennis: Power Tour marked the first (and only) time that he appeared in-game without Wario appearing at all. In Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and Mario Power Tennis, he holds up the sign for Camelot Software Planning to signify the developer of these games in the opening movies.
|“||Just like how Wario is Mario's chunkier doppelganger, Waluigi is an exaggeration of the plumber's thinner sibling Luigi. Sporting an all purple ensemble, elf shoes, and a jaw that trumps Jay Leno's neck goiter of a chin, Waluigi is definitely one of GamePro's favorite underappreciated Nintendo characters.||”|
Since his appearance in Mario Tennis, Waluigi has received mixed reception. Gamervision editor Jonathan Cooper wrote an article entitled the "top ten reasons why Waluigi is awesome", listing such qualities as his developed personality, his role in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and his role in Mario sports games. In the book "Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares, Volume 1", author S. T. Joshi cites both Waluigi and Wario as examples of alter egos, also as evidence of how popular it is to feature such character archetypes. IGN editor Matt Casamassina described him as a recognizable mascot to many, but also as a beloved one to Nintendo fans. Hiroyuki Takahashi, a developer for Mario Power Tennis listed him, along with his companion Wario, as his favourite character in Power Tennis, describing them both as detestable heels, adding that he likes characters with more personality. gamingillustrated.com's writer Greg Johnson, during his article about the upcoming Mario Kart 8, described Waluigi's return as one of the game's bright-sides. The article called "Waluigi: Unwrapping The Enigma" in Gameranx.com dwells in Waluigi's self-pity and ambiguous origins, describing him as one of the most misunderstood characters in videogames, and more than capable of holding his own game. In addition, Steve Haske, from Unwinnable.com wrote an article called " Waa! In Defense Of Waluigi" that discussed Waluigi's partly negative reception, claiming Waluigi to be an even more interesting character than Wario, praising Waluigi for the comic relief he provides and mentioning his absence in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a sad disrespect to his fans. Evilgeeks.com, a website dedicated towards villains, claimed Waluigi to be Nintendo's most evil character, because of his hatred, greed and power, and wrote that Waluigi should have his own game simply so that we could see what he is capable of. In addition to those articles, venturebeat.com's writer Chris Hoadley wrote an article called "The Greatness Of Waluigi", describing him as the most cynical Mario franchise character, and the greatest one of the last decade. Chris wrote about how Waluigi, despite being constantly ridiculed for his lack of importance, has one of the strongest and most developed personalities of the cast.
|“||He [Waluigi] is seen as less than legitimate by Nintendo internally. His first appearances were in the sports games made by Camelot, who thrust the half-baked villain on the world. [...] He has yet to appear in a core Mario game, and also never appears in his brother Wario's titles, perhaps because Nintendo thinks he’s not good enough for them. Here's hoping this silly creation will continue to be relegated to the side projects where he belongs.||”|
Waluigi also receives negative reception. GameDaily listed him as one of the characters they wanted to kill, but couldn't, describing him as "One of the most unimportant characters in video game history". Kotaku editor Mike Fahey commented that Waluigi was his personal most annoying video game character. GamesRadar described Waluigi as a "lame-o villain" in an otherwise great game, referencing Mario Tennis. Editor Henry Gilbert titled his section "Waluigi: The worst character ever", suggesting that the creation process involved the developers of Mario Tennis having no one to fill the final character slot, and conceiving him as an "evil Luigi". He describes such an act as "plunging to the bottom of the intellectual barrel". He also calls Waluigi "disgustingly tall and thin" as opposed to Wario, who he calls a "fatass". He later states that the staff of GamesRadar feels that Waluigi is seen as "less than legitimate" by Nintendo, who he feels may not find him good enough to appear in a main Mario or Wario title. IGN editor Lucas M. Thomas discussed him as a possible, yet unlikely, candidate for a "second banana" character to be playable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, commenting that Waluigi, amongst other sidekick characters, are not well-liked. IGN staff, while praising Bowser as one of the most memorable video game villains, criticized both Waluigi and Wario as being "evil twin knockoffs". In 2013, Complex included him among the ten video game characters who look like sex offenders.
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