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1. Wario the Drug Dealer
Players have long joked about “Dr. Mario’s” medical malpractice. That man didn’t go to medical school! But Wario took things one step further and became a drug dealer.
In the little-played Dr. Mario 64, you can play as both Mario and Wario. What are Wario’s motivations? He is simply trying to get his hands on some “MegaVitamins” and sell them for quick cash.
We’re not entirely sure what MegaVitamins do. But stealing desperately-needed medicine to make a quick buck is pretty damn low!
2. Occasional Hero
From the very beginning, Wario has been portrayed as a villainous antagonist to Mario. But look closer at some of his adventures and you’ll see that Wario is an occasional hero.
In Super Mario Land 3, Wario works hard to defeat pirates who have stolen a statue of Princess Peach. And in Wario Land 3, Wario defeats a wizard and frees a country held in magical thrall. He even saves a goddess in Wario Land 4!
Throughout all of this, Wario retains his love of gold and treasure. But he still ended up fighting for the forces of good on several different occasions.
3. A Powerful Wizard
Wario has many skills and many qualities. But few modern gamers know this: Wario is actually a powerful wizard!
In his first appearance in Super Mario Land 2, Wario hypnotizes all of the citizens of Mario Land with a magic spell. This may have been meant to echo Bowser, who was introduced in the original Super Mario Bros. as a powerful wizard before later games forgot about his powers.
4. Created By Dr. Light?!?
Where did Wario actually come from in the Nintendo canon? According to an old Club Nintendo Magazine, Wario and Mega Man are basically brothers!
That comic showed Mega Man creator Dr. Light accidentally creating Wario in an insane attempt to remove Mario’s pixels. Dr. Light teams up with Mega Man and Mario to capture Wario.
Later comics and games ignore the Dr. Light connection, but this is the closest we get to a true character origin.
5. Wants To Impress Peach
Bowser is known for his attempts to kidnap and forcibly marry Peach. As for Wario, it’s a bit different: he actually likes her and wants to impress her!
In Wario: Super Mario Land 3, part of the plot involves a golden Peach statue that Wario wants to retrieve in order to impress the princess. While he is not above trying to win her over with magic and trickery, it seems like Wario genuinely wants to make a good impression on Princess Peach.
6. Sold A Skyscraper to a Demon
Wario is arguably even weirder in Germany’s Club Nintendo comics. And in one of those comics, we see Wario sell a Skyscraper to a demon!
The plot involved Wario being left in charge of the Nintendo Skyscraper. He sells it to a demon named Abigor so the demon will put a love spell on Peach. Instead, the demon turns Peach into a zombie, showing how even Wario’s successful schemes manage to backfire.
7. “Bad” Is Right In His Name
Wario’s name looks simple enough--it’s simply “Mario” with an inverted “M.” But there is more to this character’s name than you might think.
When he was being developed, Nintendo thought his name was a bit of a pun. It combined Mario’s name as well as the Japanese word “warui” which translates to “bad.” As you can tell, the villainous nature of Wario has been there from the very beginning.
8. Inspired By Bluto
Considering he is Mario’s opposite number, you might expect that Nintendo designers were only inspired by their own plucky plumber. But they also took design cues from the old Popeye cartoons.
According to Super Mario Land 2 director Hiroji Kiyotake, Wario was modeled after Bluto. This helps illustrate his position as a big and devious foe to Mario just as Bluto was the large and cunning foe to Popeye.
9. He’s German
Despite the games mostly taking place in fictional locations like The Mushroom Kingdom, Mario and Luigi have always had one foot in our world with their Italian heritage. Where, then, does Wario come from?
Strangely enough, the answer is Germany. This comes from German translator Thomas Spindler who gave Wario some German dialogue in the Japanese versions of Mario Kart 64, Mario Party, and Mario Party 2. He claimed Nintendo wanted Wario to be German.
However, Charles Martinet did not get this memo, so his version of Wario sounds very Italian.
10. Thinks He Is Perfect
While polite gamers might say “big-boned,” the simple truth is that Wario is a really fat dude. But one person doesn’t believe that: Wario himself!
In the instructions for Wario World, the titular character tells us he has “long, muscular legs on my sturdy, toned frame” and that he’s “the perfect specimen of a man.” According to Wario, he merely looks fat because of the widescreen display settings on our TVs.
11. Secretly a Genius
Wario is often portrayed as a rude, bumbling, and gassy villain. Because of this, you might never realize he is secretly a genius!
Over the course of his many appearances, we can see that Wario is smart and skilled enough to do things like fly a plane and even invent a dimensional teleporter. He is also an architect, having designed and built Wario Stadium himself.
Wario may be the smartest in the cast of Mario characters, even if he rarely looks the part.
12. Obsessed With Real Estate
It’s an open secret that Wario is very greedy. But his greed has a driving force: he is absolutely obsessed with real estate!
In his earliest appearance, he is obsessed with stealing Mario’s castle. He eventually manages to get a castle of his own, but this didn’t keep him from claiming land (possibly for real estate development) in the forest in Wario’s Woods. And in a Club Nintendo comic, he gains control of the Nintendo Skyscraper before trying to sell it to a demon.
Given his love of castles, maybe Wario has an ulterior motive in trying to get Peach to love him!
13. A Fart Connoisseur
In various games, Wario often attacks enemies with a weaponized fart. But horrifyingly, Wario’s relationship with his own gaseous emissions is much worse than you think.
When he uses the Gas Mask! attack and farts in his enemy’s general direction in Mario Strikers Charged, he offers a quip about what he is doing. And one of these lines is “excellent vintage.”
The only conclusion is that Wario has collected and mentally cataloged enough of his farts that he can offer his opinion on which ones smell the best. And this fact alone makes Wario scarier than Bowser has ever been!
14. He Is a Star Child
There are some weird character mythologies tucked away in very unexpected games. For example, Yoshi’s Island helped establish that Wario was one of the Star Children.
Canonically, the Star Children are seven kids born with extraordinary power. The fact that Wario is one of them may help to explain the superhuman strength and abilities he sometimes displays.
15. Bullied By Mario
Every villain has their own origin story. And in Wario’s case, his origin involved being bullied by Mario!
Nintendo Power’s Mario vs. Wario comic established that the two characters used to play cowboys growing up. However, Wario resented always being the bad guy that Sheriff Mario arrested. He considered this a form of bullying and grew into the villainous role for real.
It’s obviously debatable if this was truly “bullying.” But then again, Mario’s idea of playfully riding Yoshi around involves beating him in the head, so there is probably some dark behavior hidden in those cowboy memories.
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