"I lost! To a bunch of losers!" - Wario, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Superman has his Bizarro, Spider-man has his Venom, and Nintendo hero and mascot Mario has Wario: a twisted, overweight, big-nosed, frizzly-stached interpretation of everyone's beloved plumber. His name is a little insight to his personality: a mixture of the Japanese word "warui" (evil) and Mario's moniker. Not much is known about Wario, other than the fact that he and Mario were friends in childhood. Mario has mentioned in the past (Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins) that Wario has always been envious of his fame, but we really don't know anything else about Wario's early years. According to a Nintendo Power comic, as kids Wario and Mario used to play Cowboys & Indians and Mario made Wario be the rustler so Mario could be the sheriff and arrest him. The one time that Wario was the sheriff, Mario laughed at him. Another time the two went to the Thwomp Stomping Grounds to flatten coins, but Wario was the one who got Thwomped! In 1992 Wario appeared out of nowhere to seize control of Mario Land during Mario's absence (when our hero was saving the day in Super Mario Land). In the end Mario thrashed Wario, who ran off, crying like a baby.

Just about one year later Wario was "practicing being mean" when he heard that the Brown Sugar Pirates had swiped a gigantic, solid gold statue of Princess Toadstool. In typical bad-guy style, Wario went off to steal the statue back so that he could sell it back to Mario and the Princess for enough cash to buy his own castle, having lost Mario's back in Super Mario Land 2. Captain Syrup blew up the tower that served as pirate headquarters, revealing the giant golden statue that the tower was built upon. As Wario was dancing a greedy little shuffle, our friend Mario appeared in the Sky Pop airplane, waved cheerfully to Wario, and took the statue back to the Mushroom Kingdom. With nothing else to do, Wario grabbed the discarded Genie's lamp and wished himself a giant castle... and paid for it with the loot he swiped from the pirates.

In the next few years, Wario annoyed Toad in a patch of woods and tossed buckets over the heads of Mario, Yoshi, and Princess Toadstool. However, Wario seemed to change a bit. He was no longer the a maniacal, crazed villian of the past, and instead became a maniacal, crazed bully. Becoming the true anti-Mario, Wario's passions were centered on greed and acquisition rather than justice and courage. In 1995's Virtual Boy Wario Land, Wario was motivated by a simple desire to escape from the underground pit he was trapped in after a thieving attempt on the tombs located nearby failed.

Wario appeared again in Wario Land 2 for the Game Boy/Super Game Boy and Game Boy Color. This time the tables were turned and the Brown Sugar Pirates had stolen Wario's treasures. Wario traversed all sorts of different levels to track down Captain Syrup and take back his treasures. Something unique in this game was that Wario was invincible. He could not be harmed. This is first game where Wario was able to transform himself into different forms to reach the goal. In Wario Land 3 Nintendo's big bully was back for more, this time trapped inside a magical music box. With promises of great treasure Wario released an evil demon from within the music box, but he fought back and escaped the cursed realm with all sorts of nifty treasures. Wario retained his "no die" abilities in this game as well. In Wario Land 4 for the Game Boy Advance Wario traveled to an ancient pyramid to plunder its treasures, but instead wound up trapped inside. While trying to escape Wario stole many a treasure from the levels within and beat back the pyramid's guardians in an effort to rescue a princess. Wario returned to his roots in this game and was capable of being harmed once again.

Somehow, Wario muscled his way into the core group of Nintendo characters. He began driving go karts in Mario Kart 64 (his first speaking role, with voice provided by the voice of the man behind Mario and Luigi, Charles Martinet) and returned for Mario Kart Super Circuit and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. He became a human playing piece in the six installments of the Mario Party series. He threw clubs at Toad in both Mario Golf and Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and served up trouble in Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64 and its Nintendo GameCube sequel Mario Power Tennis. On the venerable Game Boy Wario even saw fit to beat up Bomberman in Wario Blast. All in all, Wario seems to have firmly established himself as the greed-driven maniacal egotistical bully who lives for stealing treasure and making Mario's life miserable. His first solo starring role on a home game console game in 2003's Wario World and he is the mascot for Nintendo's series of micro-games known as Wario Ware, Inc. and its many incarnations for the Nintendo GameCube and Nintendo DS. Wario even managed to muscle his way into the Nintendo DS flagship title Super Mario 64 DS, snagging a place in gaming history with his powerful punch and metallic invincibility skills. His distinct purple and yellow clothes even have cameos in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Wario has gone from villain to anti-hero to just another of the Nintendo gang. Initially designed as a clichéd "evil twin" character, Wario has become fully rounded (both metaphorically and stomachally) with his own distinct personality. His brother, Waluigi, has yet to come as far, but the two assuredly have enough evil tricks in their bag to make him a star as well.


Referneces:
http://classicgaming.com/tmk/mariopedia/char_wario.shtml

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