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Wario: the Antithesis of Mario

Updated on February 26, 2015

Greedy Clone

Mario from the Super Mario Bros. franchise was one of the most iconic characters in video games. He was brave, kind, and for most of his appearances all he did was save Princess Peach from Bowser. Wario, another character also from the Super Mario Bros. franchise, was the complete and utter opposite of Mario. With a name that combined the Japanese word for evil, warui, and Mario's name, Wario was not a complete villain in that he was genuinely evil or malicious, but his negative characteristics were such that most of his appearances had made it clear that he was one of the more greedier characters in the Super Mario Bros. franchise. In his first appearance, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Wario was a greedy thief who stole Mario's castle and served as the final boss of that game, in a fight that really acknowledged Wario being similar to Mario when it came to abilities. In one of the games where Wario was the main protagonist, Wario Land 4, the game's events occurred because Wario heard about ancient treasure and decided to get all the treasure for himself, despite the risks that were presented. Even as a baby in Yoshi's Island DS was Wario a greedy infant, carrying a giant magnet that attracted coins, even coins that would be normally blocked by a wall. Wario was a fat, greedy jerk in all of his games, and players enjoy having a character like him because of how differently he played compared to Mario.

Wario, in his first appearance, being the final boss for Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Wario, in his first appearance, being the final boss for Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins | Source

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins Mario, the main, character, owned a castle. In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins Wario, the main antagonist and final boss of this game, stole Mario's castle when he was gone. Now forced to collect six special coins, Mario had to go through a lot to get back his home. After going through the six worlds and retrieving the six coins that were needed to open the door into his castle, Mario then had to traverse through the interior and reach Wario. After going through the obstacles that Wario most likely constructed when he took the castle, Mario then got to fight the bug man himself. And Wario was big. Most likely from consuming a mushroom like Mario did so that he could grow into a bigger size. The interesting thing about the boss fight with Wario in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was that Wario used all of the same power-ups as Mario. After the first fight with Giant Wario ended with Mario winning, Wario then consumed a radish to turn himself into Bunny Wario, same as Mario. After beating this form of Wario, Mario then had to see Wario consume a fire flower to become Fire Wario. Once Fire Wario was defeated, Wario became a smaller version of himself, ending the game. Of course, to establish that Wario was still a jerk, Wario threw a shoe at Mario once he was defeated, then ran away. This game established Wario as a rival to Mario, but later games would help make Wario an individual.

The European cover art for Wario Land 4.
The European cover art for Wario Land 4. | Source

Wario Land 4

Wario Land 4 was part of a series where Wario was the main character. He was not necessarily a protagonist like Mario, mostly because all of his games involved him trying to become wealthier then he was before the events of the game. Wario Land 4 was no different. After a mysterious pyramid appeared and got reported on a newspaper, Wario got the idea to loot the pyramid before anyone else had the chance to before him. One problem. The pyramid was filled with enemies that no normal human could fight without getting hurt. Lucky for Wario he was not a normal human being. So the player, as Wario, had to ram, jump, throw, transform, and run through four different world to reach the final boss. After beating the final boss Wario took whatever treasure he got from the pyramid, and swiftly got out of the pyramid. Which proceeded to sing back into the ground. In Wario Land 4, wario played the role of protagonist. However, Wario only served as a protagonist in that there was nobody else from the Super Mario Bros. games to make Wario seem like a bad guy. In fact, Wario was never a bad guy like in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. He was just greedy. And that greed made Wario take risks that other might consider foolish. Or in some cases heavily unnecessary. In the end of Wario Land 4 Wario kept all of the treasure he stole from the pyramid. With that treasure, it was implied that Wario would spend it on a restaurant offering steak. Funny thing here was that it only cost ten dollars, which Wario could obviously afford because of the big amount of treasure he stole.

Box art for Yoshi's Island DS.
Box art for Yoshi's Island DS. | Source

Yoshi's Island DS

Even as a baby Wario has been characterized as a greedy little miser. In Yoshi's Island DS Yoshi had to deal with an infantile version of that greed. Yoshi, basically acting as the babysitter for various Super Mario Bros. infants like baby Mario, baby Princess Peach, baby Donkey Kong, and even a baby Bowser, had to protect all of these babies from getting kidnapped. Baby Wario was no exception. Luckily, each baby possessed their own abilities, which introduced new aspects to Yoshi's Island DS. In the case of Wario, he had access to a giant magnet which helped attract coins from hard to reach areas. It also allowed the player to move metal barriers and platforms in different directions. Wario was basically one of the two babies who were somewhat antagonistic. The first baby was baby Bowser. During the final level of Yoshi's Island DS both baby Wario and baby Bowser were arguing about who kept the treasure that was in the final castle; the treasure was baby Bowser's because the final level was in his home. When Yoshi made it clear that they, including Wario, were not after any treasure, baby Bowser let them explore the inside, as long as they did not touch his stuff. Of course, once Yoshi passed the door to the final boss, baby Bowser changed his mind about trusting Yoshi and the other babies, and the first fight with baby Bowser began. Eventually adult Bowser arrives and the rest of the final boss fight began. After both Bowsers were defeated, all od the babies got to go back home. Except for Wario. But he at least landed on a giant chest filled with treasure, so he was not too sad.

A Greedy Character

Wario has been characterized as a jerk for all of his appearances. He was greedy, rude, and lacked all of the good qualities Mario possessed. Which made him an interesting antithesis to Mario. He was a thief in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins who could copy Mario's abilities, an opportunistic treasure hunter in Wario Land 4, and a rude and avaricious baby in Yoshi's Island DS. But it is because of those qualities that Wario was able to become his own character, rather than be considered a Mario rip-off. And like most characters in the Super Mario Bros. franchise, Wario's avaricious tendencies are going to be staying with him for a long time.

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