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World of Nintendo
by yo go re

Expecting a review? Too bad! Waluigi time!

A twig-thin man who sees himself as Luigi's ultimate rival. He spent a long time working silently in the shadow of the Mario Bros. before finally becoming strong enough to compete with them in Mario Tennis. Since then, he's had many brilliant game appearances. While the nature of his relationship to Wario is a mystery, the pair have hatched some devious schemes together.

Unclear? They're just two nice, evil guys who found each other (according to voice actor Charles Martinet). Waluigi was created for Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64, because there weren't enough human characters and Wario needed a partner for doubles. And while his name seems like someone was just pulling tiles out of a Scrabble bag, you already know warui (悪い) means "bad" and ruiji (類似) means "similar," so it's more logical than it seems.

Waluigi, like his brother/cousin/husband/whatever, has pointy ears that suggest he's not quite "human" human, but close enough. His face is thin and angular, with a super-pointy chin and a hooked nose. The nose is pink and he has pale blue bags under his eyes. Unlike Wario, whose mustache was all jagged waves, Waluigi's is a thin "Snidely Whiplash" style.

Since Luigi is the thinner Mario Brother, Waluigi is much reedier than Wario. At least one game has suggested that Wario stretches him on a rack, which may explain why, of the four characters, Waluigi is by far the tallest. Even in his intended squat, he's still nearly 5" tall! He dresses like his valiant twin, with a puffy newsboy cap, a long-sleeved shirt, white gloves and overalls. His shoes curve up at the toe, which, coupled with the ears, make him feel like some kind of evil elf-man.

Mario has an M on his hat, so Wario has a W; Luigi has an L on his hat, so Waluigi has a Γ. Sure, it looks like a capital letter gamma from Greek, but it's probably meant to be an upside down L. Coincidentally, though, the phoenetic spelling of his name in modern Greek would be Goualouítzi - or, in the Greek alphabet, Γουαλουίτζι. Maybe he buys his clothes on vaction in Mykonos! There are inverted L's on his gloves, too. His hat and shirt are purple, his overalls are dark blue, and his shoes are orange.

The bad articulation that hampered Tanooki Mario is not present here. Waluigi moves comparably to his hetero[citation needed] lifemate, with a swivel neck (it seems to be a balljoint, but is set so far into the head that most of the range of motion is non-existent), swivel/hinge shoulders and hips, hinged elbows and knees, and swivel wrists and ankles. So, not a ton of joints, but enough to get him into more than one pose. Sadly, both his hands are fists, so you won't be able to have him perform his Mario Strikers crotch-chop. What a loss!

The World of Nintendo toys have finally given up on the "secret" accessories - Waluigi still comes with a yellow coin, it's just not hidden in a cardboard box inside the package. On the plus side, there was no point in hiding the accessories in the first place; on the downside, those boxes almost counted as a second accessory for the Mario figures, so now we're only getting half as much. And since he's never been in a real Mario game, it would have been cooler if they gave him his tennis racket or a soccer ball or something along those lines. Something silly.

While Luigi is easily frightened but heroic and loyal to his brother, Waluigi is an angry braggart who doesn't get along with anyone other than Wario. His taunts his opponents, cheers his own victories, and proclaims that everyone is cheating when they do better than him. He's much zanier than other characters, which may explain why fans seem divided on whether he's cool or stupid. But come on, you can't have Wario without Waluigi!

-- 05/22/16

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