I’m both gamer and a younger sibling. That, as you would expect, means that when I was a kid I also was the designated Player 2 at every game. No big deal, obviously, but my child brain sometimes processed it as a huge injustice because … reasons, I guess. The only difference was when we would play Super Mario Bros. on the original NES. That was because being the player 2 while playing Mario Bros. meant that I got to play as Luigi. I liked the idea of playing a character with the same name as me (I will leave to your imagination the “Hey, Luigi where’s Mario?” jokes), and I liked the color green, so I was as happy as I could be.
Years later, I’m still very fond of that green plumber that was, at the time, just a reskin of Mario. In time, he developed a life of his own, becoming one of the most recognizable characters of this industry. So recognizable, in fact, that I’m convinced that he’s actually the interesting half of the Mario brotherhood. Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking but bear with me for a while.
What can you say about Mario as a character other than ”he goes around to save Peach all the time”? There’s not a whole lot to say because Mario is as one dimentional as you can get. Of course, Super Mario games are meant to let the gameplay be the focus, but still he’s one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, icons in the videogame industry, and the things that come to mind thinking about him are probably “It’s a me, Mario” and “Mamma mia!”
Now let’s take Luigi. What do you know about him as a character? Many of you probably answered “He’s a wimp!” and you would not be wrong. But he’s a wimp that still gets the job done. Even more, he’s a wimp that is scared of everything and still marches on, despite his fears.
In Luigi’s Mansion he is scared all the time but still gives his best to find Mario going around a house full of ghosts. In Paper Mario you can find notes of his diary talking about the fact that he lives in the shadow of his brother and, despite that, he aims to become a little more like him instead of delving in to jealousy. Also, Mario, it’s not nice reading in someone else’s diary. Shame on you, tsk tsk.
Luigi is an all around well-shaped character, in opposition of his brother that, taken on his own, is as interesting as a Fantastic 4 + Terminator Genisys movie marathon. But it doesn’t stop there.
Luigi is also a better person than his big bro who he looks up to (who is, let’s be honest, kind of a jerk). After all, Mario is a guy that would not think twice of letting Yoshi,one of his best friends, fall in a bottomless pit in order to jump a little higher. Not to mention the time he kidnapped and caged a baby monkey. There’s a Game Theory episode about that, actually.
Luigi does not get enough credit. I am one of those guys that expected more from the year of Luigi a couple of years ago and sure as hell I’m going to remind Nintendo who is the superior Mario brother whenever I’m able.
Who is your favourite Mario brother? What about your favourite Super Mario franchise character in general? Let us know in the comments.