Waluigi fans are upset because he’s not a playable character in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Waluigi is in the game, but only as assist character, and that’s caused angry Waluigi fans to take to the internet and meme Bizarro Luigi into pictures depicting him sad and wailing on the ground, taking up every space in the Smash Bros. character select screen, and watching sadly as characters such as Metroid’s villain Ridley join the fray without him.
“Waluigi was robbed and humiliated by Nintendo, and his fans are furious,” The Washington Post, the newspaper that uncovered the Watergate scandal and took down President Richard Nixon, declared. “Poor Waluigi, Nintendo Is So Cruel,” wrote Kotaku, suggesting that Nintendo is disrespecting Waluigi.
I think that’s good. Fuck Waluigi. There, I said it. Fuck Waluigi. He’s a terrible character that’s become a garbage internet meme and he is creatively and morally bankrupt.
Let’s remember where Waluigi comes from—he wasn’t even created by Nintendo. Designer Fumihide Aoki of Camelot Software Planning created him for N64’s Mario Tennis, and according to an interview with Camelot published in Nintendo Power issue #135, Shigeru Miyamoto blocked the creation of similar “evil” versions of Peach and Daisy. If he could do it all over again, my guess is that he’d probably stop the creation of Waluigi as well. I know I would.
Mario villain Wario was already a lazy 90s creation that served as a cheap foil for the plumber in early Game Boy games. But a comic book released alongside Super Mario Land 2 (Wario’s first appearance) at least explained Wario was a kid who’d always looked up to Mario, wanted to be just like him, and thought of Mario as a bully.
Since then, Wario has grown into the gluttonous greedy bastard we all love to hate. Not so with Waluigi, who has no defining characteristics beyond his hate of Luigi and his desire to hurt everyone around him. We also know, thanks to articles published on Wario’s Warehouse—a series of stories published on Nintendo Europe’s website in 2001 written from Wario’s perspective—that Waluigi is only tall because Wario puts him into a rack and stretches him out.
It sure seems like Wario kidnapped some poor guy and twisted his mind and body so he could have his own Luigi. That’s about the only sympathetic information about Waluigi that exists. Everything else paints him as an unrepentant villain with an obnoxious voice. At least Wario is in it for gold and self-esteem, Waluigi has no goals beyond being annoying.
In Mario Strikes, he thrusts his crotch at the camera and slams his hands down to make sure you look at it. Waluigi constantly creeps on Daisy and she hates him to the point that they’re rivals in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Strikers Charged. The two have such terrible chemistry in Mario Baseball that it’s hard to put them on the same team.
Waluigi is the kind of corporate trash character that’s lazy, dumb, and uninteresting. I like Wario, but I can admit that he’s a lazy foil for Mario, one who is way less interesting than Bowser. Nintendo literally just took the M in Mario and flipped it. Waluigi is twice removed from Mario and twice as stupid. The L on his hat, in reference to Luigi, is flipped, but his name still starts with a W. It doesn’t even make sense!
We don’t need bizarro versions of every corporate mascot out there. It’s bad enough we now live in a universe where Rabbid versions of the Mario pantheon exist thanks to the Ubisoft spin-off game Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, but at least I can understand the disappointment in not seeing Rabbid Peach as part of the Smash Bros. Ultimate lineup. She’s cute, harmless, funny, and fun. Waluigi, on the other hand, is a mistake.
Look, I get it. In the absence of a backstory for Waluigi, fans have spent the last ten years creating their own. There’s so little to him, beyond his unrepentant evil, that fans have created their own elaborate backstories, strange theories, and stranger memes to fill in the blanks. That’s all fun, and fine, but it doesn’t mean Waluigi deserves our pity or our respect.