The 'Shroom:Issue 135/Luigi Appreciation Time
Ah... The Mario Franchise... truly, a massive franchise... one of the most, if not the most, influential video game franchises to have ever been created. Who is Mickey Mouse? Get out, we only talk about Mario here! A man called Shigeru Miyamoto created a man who would forever be forged in the minds of people around the world. Seriously, with over thirty, yes, thirty, frikkin' years of Meryo, our beloved mustachioed squeaky, cute and cuddly Mario has become not the master of video games. He has become the video games. He has given platformers, racing games, and various other genres, meaning, and has built himself, a place in not just video game history, but our own history. The impact of Mario's weight already is something to be reckoned with, but the impact he's... impacted on our lives is so great, no gamer should live without playing any of his firmly polished video games... well, aside Hotel Mario and all those educational games, NO! One needs to live what makes the essence of Mario, be it either Super Mario Bros, its sequels, or seriously any game of the series that really qualifies as good.
I am Koops, and this month, instead of visiting a random location like usual, I decided I would instead take my, what, 5 days left I have before the 'Shroom to appreciate something, or rather... someone from this big franchise that is honestly a subject to be taken at heart.
This year is Mario's thirty-seventh year (despite Shiggy saying that he's in his twenties), and the arrival of Super Mario Maker was just a reminder that our beloved franchise accompanied us throughout our entire journey, for like, more than thirty years... of course, the man in red couldn’t be alone in his games, he maybe wouldn’t have been so iconic if it weren’t for all the memorable characters that also appear in those same games. We have the ape, Donkey Kong, the damsel, Princess Peach, the stereotypical kidnapper monster, Bowser, and much, much more... but why are we here again? This ain't a celebration for Mario! No ho ho! You are deeply mistaken, my friend! Yes, all of this talk about Mario, and yet, we haven’t even scratched the surface of the wanted subject after the title of this article! Ladies and Gentlemen, we are here, to celebrate... The Green Thunder, The Other Brother, The Ghost-Buster... Mr. Luigi Mario!
This year, is Luigi's 35th anniversary! Yes, it’s been that long since you’ve been introduced to the guy! Feel old yet? I don’t, I was born on his twentieth year! The year where Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga was released, in other words, the time Luigi started actually being significant in RPGs!
Throughout the years, Luigi would just hang out in Mario's shadow... not showing himself. He even went as far as to disguise himself as Mario but with different colors! Kids would look at him and ask their parents: "Hey Mom, who is this Green Mario?" And of course, at the time, Luigi really was just a Green Mario... it's like Mario was taken to a laboratory and was being illegally experimented on for the sake of human... *ahem*... Homo Nintendoneus cloning, and the result ended up being, well, a clone, what did you expect? Essentially a Mario clone, Luigi was only called as such for the sake of consistency, even when consistency is not something one considers when making a Mario game.
His debut game, Mario Bros, at least did say that he was Mario's brother, I mean, it's in the title of the damn game, need more evidence? He was the same thing in Super Mario Bros, except his sprite was changed... to match Mario's that is of course. But, who knew that in Super Mario Bros 2 Japan, aka Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels of all games that Luigi would at least get some recognition. In that game, sure, he looked like Mario, just as he did in previous games, but this time... OoooOooh! He could jump higher! Sure, I mean the devs at Nintendo had to sacrifice his non-slippery boots to pull this off, but at least he wasn’t a 98% Mario clone anymore! Just 97%, the only different factors here being name, color and abilities.
But was that enough for Luigi to become "zee great Weegie?" Nope! Well, sure, Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World didn't really help in making Luigi better, but let's face it, they could've just made him worse! I mean any game could've. But, wait... we skipped a game! Oh yeah! Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic! Yeah, that game everyone knows about! Oh... was that the wrong game? Oops... my bad... let's do that again... *ahem*
Super Mario Bros 2, dubbed by Shiggy and his pals Super Mario USA for the one reason that the game was a reskin of a Japan-exclusive title called Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, because Lost Levels was deemed too hard and "ragequitty" for western audiences. The game had some twins fight over a book but then suddenly, the self-proclaimed king of Subcon, Wart magically comes out of the book and kidnaps them. Why? Because plot device. Anyway, then, their monkey pet warns the parents, who somehow weren't around when they heard the screams of their children getting grabbed into the book (The monkey could've been a better parent), their brother, who happened to have his girlfriend hang out at the house during the crime scene, so she got dragged into the adventure. Imajin, the main playable character, was changed to become Mario, because he was popular and would appeal more to the guys over there, Imajin's girlfriend, Lina, was replaced with Peach, and that even was the first game where she was playable and actually wasn't the reason Mario was fighting for! But then... they replaced Imajin's parents, Papa and Mama by Toad and Luigi respectively... so have Luigi and Toad been busy and Mario is their son? Of course not, even though this is the same company that first made Birdo a gender-confused guy who wears a bow. No, the reason why was just because their abilities fit more. So since then, high jumps became what Luigi was known for, but he was still Mario #2. But here's the kicker: Luigi actually had a different look than Mario this time around! They made his head and body longer! Finally, poor lil' Luigi got to come out of this Mario shell... well, in appearance that is... he still wasn’t that special since everyone else in that game had special abilities for themselves too.
Subsequent games, or at least those after Super Mario World finally came to acknowledge Luigi as a separate character, one of the more notable examples being Super Mario All-Stars. I mean even the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario World changed Luigi's sprite! Now that's a step up in the right direction, Luigi! Keep it up!
Sadly, he was absent from Super Mario 64, which could've sped up Luigi's evolution. He was intended to appear in there as player 2, and the game was gonna be multiplayer... and not the "take turns" kind... No! The "Work together" kind of multiplayer! Yes! Mario and Luigi were gonna run around the map together, grabbin' stars, coins, screw around with the Piano, turn around Mr. I to bump into each other, kick Bowser's ass and collect princess kisses together! It would be a dream team... but alas, it was only a dream. <sarcasm>Thank you N64 limitations and deadlines!</sarcasm> He did appear in Mario Party, Mario Kart, and
One would consider Luigi's Mansion the game that defined who Luigi really is... and that's absolutely correct! First of all, the graphics of the new Nintendo Gamecube allowed models to be more detailed than the polygons we got there back at the N64, so we can now distinguish things better, and so, Luigi now looks even more Luigi! But let's not talk too much graphics, we better stay away from the -what, glitch? Easter Egg? Some dickish guy at Nintendo that liked to fuel kids with nightmares?- that is the "Hanging Luigi" thing.
Anyway, how this game really made Luigi his own character and not a simple palette swap of Mario again? Easy! They gave him the fear of ghosts! On a more serious note, yes he is afraid of ghosts now, but at least we know things about him now! We now see him as the emotional brother of the stoic Mario! We see him as the brave but scaredy hero! The game gave the man some personality, and what better way to do that than having Mario be the damsel-in-distress this time around?
The plot of the game? Luigi won a lottery, which is weird, because he never played at it. Anyway, the price was a mansion! Problem is, the mansion is located in a spooky forest, and it happens that Luigi wants to check it out AT NIGHT. Not the... "brightest" idea, am I right? *crickets chirping*. Ok ok... so he goes inside this mansion, with a lamp torch in his hand. He opens some door that goes in some room, but as soon as he enters, he is jump-scared by a ghost! Not a Boo, no, a ghostier-looking ghost! But then, because of video game convenience always working to the protagonist's advantage, some scientist called E. Gadd barges in and sucks in the ghost in some vacuum cleaner. He then explains that he's seen someone who looks like Luigi go inside the mansion, but never got out. So Luigi directly assumes it’s Mario (and well, who else would it be?) and sets off to rescue him. You can see how Luigi wants to confront his fear to be able to rescue his brother, whose shadow he stayed in up until this point! That's some tear jerking level of emotions there! And what’s more? The scene at the end of the game where Luigi is happy to see that his brother is finally free! I can taste the satisfaction. And take in consideration the fact that he just faced the creepiest ghost there is in Mario... King Boo himself! And the Luigi's Mansion version of him at that!
Games following this have seen Luigi get more popular, and now it is at a point that he even rivals Mario's undying crimson red carpet worth of popularity! Oh wait... that already happened and now he’s even MORE popular? Wow, these video game characters, they grow up so frikkin fast, don’t they? Anyway, remember how I was ranting about him not being in Super Mario 64? Well... HE WASN'T IN Super Mario Sunshine EITHER! You'd think Nintendo would learn, you'd think that they wouldn't skip on including a fan-favorite character into their next big game for the Gamecube, well, TOO BAD! The result was yet again, a
Ok sorry for this... breakdown here... you know, we like Luigi. It physically and mentally hurts for us Luigi obsessed fanboys... uh I mean tolerate fans to not see him in a big Mario game. I mean sure... if it’s a game where Mario has to do something that's related to him and him alone, then ok, have him alone, but in a game like Sunshine... I mean where was Luigi playable before? Just like Mario, he had to save the Princess and defeat the evil guy. Which is exactly the case here, except OOPS! No Luigi! Kinda upsetting to think about it that way, but oh well... accept reality as it is, such is the saying of the stoicism philosophy, which I completely agree with. I mean you cannot control life and death, so why be upset over something you couldn’t do anything about? So... where was I? Oh yeah, Yume Kōjō: Doki Do... wait, I talked about that!
Lessee what the Gamecube did to Luigi as a whole... Luigi was now redesigned to look like what he is today. That's the Luigi we all know and love! That is the Luigi we fans are always happy to see!
And remember when I said Luigi started becoming significant in RPGs starting with Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga? You know, the game who introduced yours truly, the green chortler Fawful? No need to click on that link, everyone already knows... anyway, in this very... green RPG, Peach's voice is stolen! Who would do such a thing? Well, not Bowser. In fact, he even wants to get it back, because her new explosive dialogue would disintegrate his castle in a single "MARIO! HELP ME!" Mario tags along Bowser, and Luigi stays behind. But when Bowser is about to take off on his Koopa Cruiser, he scoops Luigi up, and eventually that leads to a series of insignificant events that we don't need to talk about because this issue is about Luigi! Not this god-forsaken game! Anyway, as it turns out, Mario NEEDS Luigi! Without him, he's screwed, seriously. They have moves that only together they can pull off, or else who knows how dangerous will be the doom that the mustard reserves them?
Onward to the next major Mario game! Super Mario Galaxy! Easily not only is it my all-time favorite Mario game... but it also my all-time favorite video game! And that is a fact that no fancy schmancy Super Mario Galaxy 2, Super Mario Odyssey or even Breath of the Wild is ever gonna change... even if that last one is part of an entirely different Nintendo series! Sure... Super Mario Galaxy still has that filler plot that goes like "Bowser grabs Peach, Mario saves her", but this time, you got cool cinematic cutscenes, that in my honest opinion, top those of both aforementioned Mario games, Bowser lifts Peach's castle into space (although that one bit comes from Paper Mario), and... Luigi is here!
Ok, maybe not as player 2, even though the game DOES have a multiplayer mode, but it's just here for you to give up some hard-earned cash on a second Wii Remote, really. Anyway, Luigi is in there! That's what we wanted! Here in this game, he finds himself trapped in a Galaxy full of ghosts! Wow, Luigi's Mansion was such a hit that even Bowser knows Luigi's mental weakness now! Anyway, he is saved by Mario, and then appears in many galaxies waiting for Mario to come. He might actually give the impression of a goofball, but the tables are turned once you face off against Bowser with 120 Power Stars in your abyss deep pocket. Rosalina (another welcome addition to the series that debuted in this game) starts talking about some universe reset crap, something about that if it ends, it gets reborn, and repeats in a cycle which never seems to follow a certain pattern... well thing is, it repeats in the same way, but instead of Mario, Luigi shows up this time, slightly changing your gameplay style for the rest of the entire game! Come on, no time for break! You still gotta collect those 120 Power Stars again, but with a twist! You play as Luigi! And, being the Super Mario Galaxy fanatic that I am, I was surely pleased to replay the entire game as Luigi. Some might find that not as enjoyable, but I certainly do.
With Super Mario Galaxy 2, you can now occasionally find him in the beginning of a level waiting to be played as. Talk to him, and you get this opportunity! After you beat Bowser, you can even play as him at will!
Ok, now, Goodfeel did a good job at making Luigi a huge part of their RPG series. Intelligent Systems? Nah, they do fine without that. The Paper Mario series has enough charm already, and as long as Luigi appears... ok. But they always took Luigi as a minor character and even went as far as to make him try to make Mario remember him in Paper Mario: Color Splash. He seriously says in one of his letters "You know, the other guy?" And the like. But if there is one Paper Mario game that truly implemented Luigi properly, it was the very divisive game that was Super Paper Mario.
It is known for well, as I mentioned, having a pretty loyal fanbase which consists of a big part of the audience, and the rest love to hate it because Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door taught about how a good Paper Mario game should be. Me, personally? It came down as my favorite Paper Mario... well, my only Paper Mario, but even having seen all of what the other games look like, I am still loyal to Super, and while it had some huge gameplay flaws that were impossible to ignore, the game makes up for that with the use of the Pixls, story and charming as always characters. This game even has the best of Mario villains after Bowser. Both Dimentio and Count Bleck are up there as my favorite Paper Mario characters, alongside by Huey, but perhaps another thing this game did, was twist Luigi in a way that made us so proud he got so much development. First of all, this is the only game in the series where his role is integral in the game (well, if you don't count Luigi's Kart in Color Splash again), as he is mentioned in the Dark and Light Prognosticus (Prognosticuses? Prognostici?) as being the one to decide what prophecy becomes true! Luigi is a god now!
But Count Bleck is a smart cookie, as he brainwashes Luigi to create an equally pleasing charcater, Mr. L. Basically evil Luigi, the Luigi to end all Luigis, but he is a huge contrast towards the green plumber. Soft Luigi becomes edgy Mr. L. Selfless Luigi becomes cocky Mr. L. Hero Luigi becomes villain Mr. L. Still, he was no match for the heroes of Light, and eventually, towards the end of the game, he turned back into regular good ol' Luigi! But then, in the end, Dimentio brings him, the Choas heart and himself together to create one being known in-game as Super Dimentio. After it is defeated, Luigi is free again. Joy and excitement all over! You could tell Intelligent Systems were all over Luigi showering him with plot points when making this one!
So... what happened after all that? Well, Nintendo started paying more attention to our boy, and on 2013, they announced the year of Luigi! Yes! An entire year dedicated to Luigi! A great time to be a Luigi fan!
The following games were specifically released for Luigi that exact year:
So yeah, these games. A sequel to Luigi's Mansion, the Mario & Luigi series (and this one has infinite supplies of Luigis), a Dr Mario spin-off, and New Super Mario Bros U DLC. Even some side games in otherwise normal games! Nintendo seems to advertise their Luigi proudly. And they should really... he's a very important part of the series. Without him, it wouldn't Mario Bros... just Mario. No Mario & Luigi, no Luigi's Mansion... that is an example of the many wonders Nintendo have done over their gaming years, as Luigi is, with no doubt, my favorite Mario character. Not only is he so memorable, but his personality is something that makes it hard for a Mario fan to hate him, and hard not to love him. Luigi has managed to pull himself out of Mario's shadow despite the latter's dominance over the franchise, as the lovable greenie never fails to reach to our hearts. As far as I know, no one in the Mario fandom even hates Luigi or dislikes him, and I should know. I am a part of this fandom, as I am now writing an article in the 'Shroom, read by Mario fans all over the community!
Word is, nowadays, Luigi likes to make kids pay to play some game he calls "Balloon World"... such a nice lad, it's no surprise why everyone likes him! Meanwhile, Ninty is busy showcasing his private stick that happens to pop up when his tennis racket breaks. Seriously, they like him so much they want us to see him in his entirety... well not yet, but it might happen in the near future... the world may never know. But who cares as long as little kiddos don't notice?
This has been Koops, the Travel Guide, writing a special section about the great green, signing off. Hope you like this section, and may Poochy, our Lord and Savior, watch over Louis and have mercy on his soul. Take care everyone!