The Angry Gamer 01.15.04: The Things That Should Not Be

Many fantastic and memorable video game characters have appeared before us over the years. But for every wonderful mascot, we get stuck with some annoying supporting character. Worse yet, these characters are often so irritating, we’d rather jab ourselves in the eardrum with a pencil than suffer another microsecond of their pitiful existence. In this week’s installment of anger, we’ll take a look at a few of these abominations. To narrow it down, we’ll focus on various evils from the Super Mario Bros. series.

Baby Mario & Luigi. I don’t know if this was Miyamoto’s doing during a crack binge, or just a really bored Nintendo staffer throwing darts at a board. Regardless, we ended up with infant versions of our favorite brothers. Now, everybody knows that people start off as babies…but who really gives a rat’s ass?! Mario and Luigi did their good deeds as adults, after they’d graduated from tech school with their plumbing licenses and whatnot. As babies, they didn’t even know how to use a toilet, much less unclog one! Baby Mario’s more likely to shit himself that fight off a horde of Koopa Troopas. Furthermore…when the babies show up in games like Mario Tennis and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, alongside their adult selves, that creates a monstrous time paradox. What the hell was Nintendo thinking?! You can’t muck about with the laws of time and space for the sake of a sporting event! (In the background, every Final Fantasy end boss sighs with disgust.)

Birdo. I don’t know what’s funnier…the fact that Birdo is actually a dude, or that Nintendo keeps trying to bury that fact. Seriously…the original description of Birdo is “a boy who thinks he’s a girl.” See, even back in the day, Nintendo was advancing the rights of differing sexual orientations. Of course, nowadays, it’s just funny, seeing as how Nintendo takes care NEVER to mention that fact, and tries to make Birdo as overly feminine as possible. That, and in every game Birdo shows up in, she/he chases every piece of male ass in sight. Yeesh. GLAAD must be impressed.

Yoshi. A dinosaur who eats his enemies, then shits out multicolored eggs. Even I couldn’t think up something that perverse. Nintendo may claim that he’s “laying” these eggs, but check out the look on his face when he’s doing it; I’ve made the same face when my Chinese food wants out. Anyways, the other big problem with Yoshi is that he needs to shut the f*ck up. His cutesy noises are enough to make your head explode after about 4 seconds. Why Mario hasn’t chopped him up to make pasta sauce yet, I’ll never know.

Waluigi. Wario was great. Even though he embodied the Star Trek, “Mirror, Mirror” cliché, Nintendo did a pretty good job of fleshing out the character after his original appearance in Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins. Hell, he essentially took the platforming title away from Mario, since Mario’s only appeared in 3D games and ports of his old adventures. However, with the release of Mario Tennis, Nintendo introduced us to Luigi’s evil double…Waluigi. As if the name wasn’t stupid enough, the character just looks ridiculous. Ever wonder why his name’s “Waluigi”? Well, with Wario it was easy: an upside-down “M” is a “W”. However, an upside-down “L” looks like a lower-case “R”. This is a problem, because in Japan, “L” and “R” are the same sound. So “Ruigi” would be the same as “Luigi.” So they obviously had to think up something else…but “Waluigi”? Stupid. Not to mention that he’s a completely useless character, and only serves as filler. I’m wondering when he’s going to put on a top hat and tie Princess Peach to some train tracks.

The final word? Let’s just try to focus more on the characters we know and leave. There’s no reason these other secondary annoyances should appear in more than one game; publishers should just learn their lesson the first time around.