The Mushroom Kingdom’s Least Wanted: Who Sucks More than Waluigi?
So in my Waluigi write-up I mentioned that Luigi’s evil double had passed his shit-stained crown of Worst Mario Character to not one, not two, but a variety of annoying chodes that come out of the woodwork whenever Mario announces a party or a golf outing.
Who could possibly spark my nerd rage more than the unlovable mutant hell-spawn of Wario and Luigi? Read on!
I’ve actually had this list knocking around in my head for a while, because I’m a dweeb who makes lists like this. In earlier drafts (yes, that’s plural. Ladies) of the list and the preceding Waluigi entry, I referred to these guys as “filler characters.” I’ve decided to stay away from the term because it implies that this is some kind of objective list, that some characters are inherently better than others, and that’s kind of a self-important way to handle something like this. Plenty of other internet-people are happy to sound off their stupid opinions as gospel, but I’m content to leave my stupid opinions as stupid opinions. Plus I realized I really liked certain “filler characters” while putting others on blast, so this makes me seem like less of a hypocrite. Also some of the best Mario characters started off as “clones” or filler characters. Wario’s an obvious example, but even before him we have Mario’s beloved bro. Let’s be honest with ourselves, Luigi started life as “Green Mario” and didn’t really develop a personality in-game until the RPG spin-offs, and of course, Luigi’s Mansion.
So yeah, I thought Wiggler was a fun, fresh new edition to the driver line-up for Mario Kart 7. Honey Queen I can take or leave. I have a weird bias where I always like to see new non-Princess female characters added to the Mario mix, but I’m completely ambivalent on HQ. I have a feeling she’ll be a one-time racer like Petey Piranha. Ha, remember that dingleberry?
But some of the coolest playable characters in past Mario spin-offs have been legit “filler” characters. Toadette debuted in Mario Kart Double Dash!! as Toad’s driving buddy, likely to Miyamoto’s chagrin. Dry Bowser actually landed his first game role in New Super Mario Bros., but gets labelled a filler character because of his appearance in Mario Kart Wii. Despite looking rad as hell, I can still see how he could be considered “filler,” since he’s technically just a different version of Bowser, but come on:
And then most recently we have Metal Mario in Mario Kart 7. This should be one of the most egregious cases of shutting off the old creativity caps and just pooping out clones of popular characters to take up space, but I don’t know… Metal Mario didn’t get under my skin either. Maybe it’s because of his history with Super Mario 64 and the original Super Smash Bros. Or maybe it’s just because he’s not one of the douchers I’m about to list off. As much as I like these first few dudes, I still would rather have Kamek. Oh you didn’t hear? He was IN Mario Kart 64 until the last second:
The delightfully nerdy wizard turtle and primary antagonist of the fantastic Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island was all but in Mario Kart 64, until a certain hot-shot simian superstar dropped in at the last second. It’s kind of crazy to consider the alternate universe where the switch never happened: would the countless Mario spin-offs continue to feature a playable Magikoopa instead of the tie-wearing ape?
And maybe that’s why I’m so bitter about these next few characters. Instead of more fun weirdos like Wiggler and Kamek, we’re stuck with:
Daisy is kind of like Dry Bowser. She got her start in a non-spin-off title as Super Mario Land‘s distressed damsel, and even has a character named after her in the bizarre Super Mario Bros. movie. Let’s be honest though, she’s a pallet-swapped Peach. But hey, Luigi got his start as a pallet swap, so why not? Because they made her super annoying, that’s why not.
But it’s not just the “Hi I’m Daisy!”s. Her whole tomboy/southern belle shtick grates my nerves into a fine powder that gets kicked up in my eyes every time she passes me in a Mario Kart race. I appreciate the effort to make her a different character from Peach, but I’d have appreciated it even more if she wasn’t so obnoxious. Maybe some tweaks to her dialogue, or a different voice actress would fix Daisy for me. I don’t know. Even without any changes, she’s nowhere near as bad as:
Bowser Jr. is terrible. But, like Daisy and Dry Bowser, he got his start in a “real” Mario game, debuting in the tropical janitorial adventure Super Mario Sunshine. I probably wouldn’t mind if there weren’t seven vastly superior bad-asses filling the role of Bowser’s rabble-rousing bastard-children.
While the Koopa Kids are bad in rowdy, amusing ways, Bowser Jr. is bad in an irritating, whiny way. He’s somehow Bowser’s favorite, and not surprisingly is a spoiled turd because of it. Thankfully, the Koopa Kids came back for Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga, and most recently New Super Mario Bros. Wii, albeit forced to share the evil spotlight with their lame-ass little brother in the latter. Thankfully, Bowser Jr. was booted out of the Mario Kart roster for Mario Kart 7, where amongst others, the bespectacled, geeky Lakitu made his first playable appearance. A dorky, four-eyed koopa? If that’s the closest I’ll get to playable Kamek, I’ll take it.
With the Koopa Kids getting some exposure, my stance on Bowser Jr. has softened a little. And even a sack of solid-farts like BJ is better than:
The babies. The babies make Waluigi and Metal Mario look like staggering acts of unbridled imagination. Why are there babies alongside their adult counterparts? Did they travel through time just to play Tennis and race Karts? Even in the wacky world of the Mushroom Kingdom, aren’t there WAY better things we could be doing with functional time machines? Or did Mario, Peach, Luigi and Daisy get nasty and pop out some kids between Bowser-bashing adventures? Considering the most action we ever see Mario and Luigi landing are chaste pecks on the cheek or nose, it’s hard to imagine Nintendo saying “yeah, let’s imply they’ve been banging out of wedlock.”
These little diaper-shitters drive me nuts, but most of them do have some basis in “real” Mario games. The baby versions of Mario, Luigi and Bowser all debuted in Yoshi’s Island, easily one of the best platformers of all time. Of course, Yoshi’s Island is set in the past when the three characters are babies, so it actually made sense, with most of the real action focusing on full-grown Yoshis battling an also full-grown Kamek. Baby Mario cameoed in a couple Mario sports titles, generally as a secondary partner for Yoshi as a nice tip of the hat to Yoshi’s Island. Unfortunately things quickly spiraled out of control, adding Baby Luigi, and eventually a freaking baby quartet crapping up the Mario Kart Wii character line-up. Baby Peach had the decency to be featured in Yoshi’s Island DS first, but Baby Daisy managed to out-Waluigi Waluigi himself , by showing up out of nowhere and being the uninspired penis-wrinkle I can’t imagine any player clamoring for.
Baby Wario and Baby Donkey Kong also were introduced in Yoshi’s Island DS, but Nintendo has yet to shoehorn them into a Mario spin-off. And after the baby boom featured in Mario Kart Wii, I was pleasantly surprised to see Nintendo left the pre-pubescent pants-poopers at home for Mario Kart 7, making way for fresh new faces like Wiggler and Honey Queen. Thankfully it seems like Nintendo said “Okay, we went a little nuts with the baby thing” and have backed off accordingly.
So what’s my beef with babies? They’re cute. They’re kind of funny. But they’re just baby versions of characters that are already in the game. It’s hard not to look at it like this: for every baby character we get in a Mario spin-off, that’s one less slot that could have gone to Wart, or a Hammer Bro, or Dixie Kong, or E. Gadd, or the Koopa Kids, or Pauline, or of course, good ol’ Kamek.
So if I had to name one character that stole the Worst Mario Character sash from Waluigi’s bony, stinking body, I guess by default it would have to be Baby Daisy. But even with Baby Daisy as the new queen of crap, it could always be much worse: