|First game||Mario Tennis (2000)|
|Created by||Fumihide Aoki|
|Voiced by||Charles Martinet (2000- )|
Waluigi (ワルイージ Waruīji ) is a fictional character in the Mario franchise. He 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."
Concept and creation
Waluigi 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". 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 Wario's doubles partner; he would remain doubles 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 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 Kosuke Yabuki (the game's director) as due to "the game's charm." 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 first boss fight 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. 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. 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.
|“||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.||”|
Since his appearance in Mario Tennis, Waluigi has received mixed reception. In the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition book, the writer suggests that Waluigi was created only for the purpose of giving Wario a doubles' partner in Mario Tennis. GameDaily ranked him the worst Mario character ever, stating that "for every likeable character there's one that continues to annoy us even years after we're done with the game they came from". 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. In a humour article, they list him as one of the eight characters people would never trust with their kids, describing him as a "leering, lanky, undoubtedly stinking old cretin" and a "poor man's Wario". 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.
Another article discusses Waluigi in the capacity of Luigi's rival. 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. GameDaily listed him as one of the characters they wish they could kill, but can't, stating that he is one of the most unimportant characters in video game history and was left to rot in spin-off titles after being created as Luigi's rival. UGO called Wario "awesome", but said "Waluigi, not so much" and suggested that if Wario was to star in his own movie Waluigi should not be featured.
When discussing Waluigi, Martinet stated that he would love to see a video game featuring Waluigi as its lead character, suggesting that the objective would be having to have Waluigi "cheat to win". The response to the suggestion has been mostly negative. MTV Multiplayer editor Jason Cipriano described the idea as a long shot, and while a Mario character receiving a spin-off is not unprecedented, citing the video game Super Princess Peach, he states that Bowser deserves one before Waluigi. Kotaku editor Mike Fahey described Waluigi as a character who he completely forgets about until he appears in a story like this. He adds that if Waluigi died, no one would likely notice. Game Informer editor Dan Ryckert jokingly described Waluigi as Nintendo's "best and most beloved" character and that such a game has become a hotly anticipated idea. In response to the article, they would also make an article titled "Characters Who Don't Deserve Their Own Games", stating that many Game Informer users voiced their disapproval, as well as stating that the characters on the list were undoubtedly worse choices than Waluigi. Before this comment, a demo for a fan-made video game was created titled Psycho Waluigi. It was covered and made available by GameSpot.
|“||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.||”|
Despite the negative reception for Waluigi, he has received some positive reception. While Kombo editor David Oxford commented that some people felt Waluigi was an unoriginal character intended to "fill a gap no one ever saw", he found Waluigi to be one of the "funniest characters in the franchise." Voice actor Charles Martinet also described him as "hilariously funny", describing him amongst others as a character he loves. Gamervision editor Jonathan Cooper wrote an article entitled the "top ten reasons why Waluigi is awesome", listing such qualities as being significantly taller than most characters, 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. Despite their negative comments for Waluigi, GameDaily ranked him in the 10th slot on GameDaily's top 10 Nintendo characters that deserve their own games list; the site explained that "he gets the shaft worse than Luigi, and should at least get his own puzzle game". They also listed him as one of the top 25 video game anti-heroes, stating that it was too bad that he has never had the spotlight. On top of that, they listed him as the 17th best Mario enemy. 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. GamePro listed him as the fifth skinniest video game character, describing him as one of their favourite unappreciated Nintendo characters.
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