Wario series, Mario series series
An overweight character, wearing a yellow hat with a blue W, purple overalls with a yellow shirt underneath, green shoes and white gloves. He has pointy ears, a pink nose, thick eyebrows, and a wavy moustache, and has an evil grin. Three large golden coins are seen on his hand, with two others in the air above.
Wario, as he appears in Mario Party 8
First appearance Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (1992)
Designed by Hiroji Kiyotake
Voiced by
Charles Martinet (video games; all other appearances)
Voiced by
Charles Martinet (video games)
Chikao Ōtsuka (Satellaview series, commercials and some video game dubs)

Wario (ワリオ?) is a fictional character in Nintendo's Mario series. The character was designed as another antagonist to Mario (besides Bowser), and first appeared in the 1992 Game Boy title Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins as the main antagonist and final boss. He was portrayed as an exaggerated version of Mario and his name is a variant of Mario's name (as shown by the W in his name, which is an upside down M that portrays him as an upside down Mario). Wario was first designed by Hiroji Kiyotake, and is voiced by Charles Martinet, who also voices many other characters in the series

Since his debut, creators have developed Wario into the protagonist and antihero of the Wario Land and WarioWare series, spanning both handheld and console markets, in addition to many appearances in spin-offs in the Mario series, as well as also appearing in Super Mario 64 DS and Yoshi's Island DS. He has also appeared in other media such as the Super Mario Adventures graphic novel.

Concept and creation

A white circle with a blue "W" inside it is seen over a yellow background.

This emblem appears on Wario's hat and represents him in many Mario games.

A rival to Mario first appeared in the 1985 game Wrecking Crew in the form of Spike, a construction foreman.[1] Although Spike bears a slight resemblance, Wario was not to receive his true debut until 1992. The first named appearance of the character occurred in the 1992 game Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins where he was designed by game artist Hiroji Kiyotake, who was also responsible for designing Samus Aran of Metroid.[2] The motive for Wario's design arose from the distaste of Super Mario Land's design team towards designing a game based around someone else's character. The creation of Wario allowed them a character of their own to "symbolize their situation".[1]

Wario is portrayed as an exaggerated version of Mario; he has huge, muscular arms, a large moustache, and a bellicose cackle.[3] The name Wario is a portmanteau of Mario's name with the Japanese adjective warui (悪い) meaning "bad"; hence, a "bad Mario" (further symbolized by the "W" on his hat, an upside down "M").[4] Voice actor Charles Martinet, who had voiced Mario since 1987, auditioned to provide the voice for Wario in 1993. Martinet was told to speak in a mean and gruff voice, and described voicing Wario as a looser task than voicing Mario, since Mario's voice and personality is free-flowing, coming from the ground and floating into the air, while one of Wario's cornerstones is self-pity.[5] Starting with Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land, Wario experiences rejuvenating effects from garlic. The character is also often seen making use of bombs, as in Wario Land and Wario Blast. The WarioWare series prominently uses bombs as a visual motif in every microgame to represent the time limit.

In video games in which Wario makes a cameo appearance, he is often portrayed as a villain. However, the development team for Wario Land: The Shake Dimension stated that he was not really a villain, and they did not consider this during development. They focused on his behavior, which alternates between good or evil.[6] Etsunobu Ebisu, a producer of The Shake Dimension, considers Wario to be a reckless character, who uses his strength to overwhelm others. Tadanori Tsukawaki, the design director of The Shake Dimension, described Wario as manly, and said he was "so uncool that he ends up being extremely cool". Because of this, he wished for Wario to come off as macho rather than silly, and requested that the art designers emphasize his masculinity.[7] Wario was chosen as the star of the WarioWare series because the developers felt it was the best character for the franchise, in particular for frequently acting stupid.[8]


Wario Land series

Wario made his first appearance as a villain in the 1992 Game Boy video game Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, having captured Mario's castle.[9] He appeared yet again in the role of a villain in the Japan-only puzzle game Mario & Wario in 1993, where he drops a bucket on top of either Mario, Princess Peach, or Yoshi's head.[10] This was followed by the first game in the Wario Land series, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (1994), a platform game which marked Wario's first appearance as a protagonist and introduced his first villains, Captain Syrup and her Brown Sugar Pirates.[9][11] His next adventure, 1995's Virtual Boy Wario Land, plays similarly, and incorporates the ability to move in and out of the background.[9] A sequel for the Game Boy title, Wario Land II, was later released in 1998, in which Captain Syrup returned as the antagonist. This game also introduces Wario's invulnerability, allowing him to be burnt or flattened without sustaining damage.[9] The Game Boy Color saw the release of another sequel in 2000, Wario Land 3, which used the same mechanics and concepts of its predecessor.[9] The following year, the sequel Wario Land 4 debuted on the Game Boy Advance, incorporating Wario's ability to become burnt or flattened, but reintroducing the ability to become damaged from standard attacks.[9] In 2004, Wario World, the first console Wario platforming title, was released for the Nintendo GameCube; featuring three-dimensional graphics and gameplay, it did not use any major elements from previous platforming titles.[9] Wario: Master of Disguise was released for the Nintendo DS in the 2007, using the touch screen for movement and incorporating puzzles into the gameplay.[12] The most recent release in the series as of 2011 is Wario Land: The Shake Dimension, which was released for the Wii in 2011 and reintroduced Captain Syrup. The game uses a hand-drawn animation style, and Wario's design alone required more than 2,000 frames of animation.[7]

WarioWare series

An overweight character with pointy ears, a pink nose, thick eyebrows, muscular arms and a wavy moustache. He wears a navy blue shirt with a light blue jacket, pink pants with a red belt, blue shoes, and yellow biker gloves with a blue W. On his head, a yellow biker helmet with a blue W, goggles, and a red strap.

Wario as seen in WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!.

In 2003, the Wario franchise introduced a new series of games, starting with WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! for the Game Boy Advance. The premise involved Wario's decision to open a game development company to make money, creating short "microgames" as opposed to full-fledged games. The gameplay of the title involved playing a collection of said microgames in quick succession. Mega Microgames! was later remade as WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games! for the GameCube, featuring the same microgames, but lacking a story mode and focused more on multi-player.[9] In 2004, two sequels were released for the game, the Game Boy Advance title WarioWare: Twisted!, which due to a tilt sensor on the cartridge allows microgames to be controlled by tilting the handheld left and right,[13] and the Nintendo DS release WarioWare: Touched!, incorporating both the DS's touch screen and microphone in the gameplay.[14] One of the Wii's launch games in 2006 was WarioWare: Smooth Moves, whose gameplay uses the Wii Remote's motion sensing technologies in a variety of ways.[15] The Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi have seen two new releases, 2008's WarioWare: Snapped!, which is available to download in the DSiWare service and uses the DSi's built-in front camera in its gameplay, and the 2009 Nintendo DS game WarioWare D.I.Y., which allows players to create their own microgames.[16][17]

Other appearances

In 1994's Wario's Woods, Wario appears as the main antagonist who wants to take over the woods, before being defeated by Toad.[9] That same year Wario was also featured in the video game Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman!, a remake of a Bomberman title for the Game Boy which incorporated Wario as a playable character.[9] Starting with Mario Kart 64, Wario has appeared in twenty Mario sports games, including the Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mario Baseball, Mario Strikers, and Mario & Sonic series.[18][19][20] Wario has also appeared in all installments of the Mario Party series but Mario Party Advance.[9] Wario is a playable character in two platformer remakes for the Nintendo DS, Super Mario 64 DS (2004) and Yoshi's Island DS (2006),[9][21] as well as the 2001 puzzle game Dr. Mario 64,[22] and the 2008 fighting game Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In Brawl's predecessor Super Smash Bros. Melee, Wario is featured as a collectible trophy.[23] Amongst the cameos of Wario are one aiding protagonist Scoots in the video game Densetsu no Stafy 3, and in the scenery of Pilotwings 64.[9][24] The Super Mario Adventures graphic novel, which is a collection of comics originally serialized in Nintendo Power, features Wario in two of the stories. It features a variety of storylines, including a story of Wario's past explaining his rivalry with Mario.[25]

Promotion and reception

Since his appearance in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Wario has become a well-established mascot for Nintendo,[26] and also received a largely positive critical reception. The video gaming magazine Nintendo Power described Wario as a "pretty uncool dude" which they "cannot help but like", and also listed him as having one of the best mustaches in Nintendo games.[27] Computer and Video Games found the levity of Wario's games "liberating" compared to big Nintendo franchises such as Mario and The Legend of Zelda, and that regarding the character, "perhaps secretly we empathise more with the hopelessly materialistic Wario than goody brown-shoes Mario. Deep down, we'd all rather chase pounds over princesses."[28] IGN editor Travis Fahs commented that while Wario was not the most likeable character, he has incredible confidence that overshadows his flaws and makes him entertaining.[29] The website later ranked Wario 31st in a list of the "Top 100 Videogame Villains".[30] In the book A Parent's Guide to Nintendo Games: A Comprehensive Look at the Systems and the Games, author Craig Wessel described Wario as a "sinister twist" on Mario.[31] In the book Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares, Volume 1, author S. T. Joshi cites both Waluigi and Wario as examples of alter egos, also as evidence of how popular it is to feature such character archetypes.[32]


  1. 1.0 1.1 David Oxford (2008-02-01). "The History of Wario: Part 1". Kombo. Archived from the original on 2008-06-03. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  2. Travis Fahs (2009-07-27). "IGN Presents the History of Game Boy". IGN. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  3. "E3 2002: Hands on Wario World". IGN. 2002-05-23. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  4. "IGN: Wario Biography". IGN. 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  5. "Charles Martinet Celebrates 15 Years of Wario with Kombo". Kombo. 2008-09-15. Archived from the original on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  6. "Wario Land Interview". IGN. 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Meet the brains behind Wario Land". Nintendo of UK. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  8. "Nintendo R&D1 Interview with the WarioWare team". Kikizo. 2006-04-07. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 "The Chronicles of Wario: A Retrospect". Kombo. 2005-02-15. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  10. "Mario and Wario for SNES". GameSpot. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  11. "Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3". IGN. Retrieved October 1, 2009. 
  12. "Wario: Master of Disguise Review". IGN. 2007-03-02. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  13. "Warioware: Twisted! for Game Boy Advance". GameSpot. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  14. "Warioware: Touched! for DS". GameSpot. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  15. "Warioware: Smooth Moves for Wii". GameSpot. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  16. "WarioWare: Snapped! for DS". GameSpot. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  17. "WarioWare D.I.Y. Release Info". GameFAQs. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  18. "Mario Superstar Baseball Review". IGN. 2005-08-25. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  19. "Mario Strikers: Charged Football Nintendo Wii Video Game Review by AceGamez". AceGamez. Archived from the original on 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  20. "Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Review". GameSpot. 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  21. "Yoshi's Island DS Review". IGN. 2006-11-06. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  22. "Dr. Mario 64 Review (Nintendo 64)". Gaming Age. 200-04-20. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  23. "Character". Nintendo. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  24. "Densetsu no Stafi 3 (Retro) review". Nintendo Life. 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  25. Takekuma, Kentaro and Nozawa, Charlie. "Mario VS Wario". Nintendo Power vol. 44. January 1993.
  26. Thomas, Lucas M. (2009-08-17). "The DSi Virtual Console Wishlist - DS Feature at IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  27. Nintendo Power 250th issue!. South San Francisco, California: Future US. 2010. pp. 46, 47. 
  28. "Time Machine: Wario". Computer and Video Games. 2010-12-31. Retrieved 2011-08-26. 
  29. Fahs, Travis (2008-07-25). "Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 Retro Review - Game Boy Review at IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  30. "Wario is number 31". IGN. Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  31. Craig Wessel, Stratos Group (2001). A Parent's Guide to Nintendo Games: A Comprehensive Look at the Systems and the Games. Mars Publications. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  32. S. T. Joshi (2007). Icons of horror and the supernatural: an encyclopedia of our worst nightmares, Volume 1. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313337819. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 

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