Give This God a Place In Smash

Everyone is here! Well, almost everyone. Nintendo’s upcoming Super Smash Brothers Ultimate is the latest installment in the brawler video game franchise, featuring Nintendo’s all-stars and many others from a myriad of different video game companies. Icons of the industry like Mario, Link, and Pikachu face off against some bizzare, off-the-wall characters like R.O.B. and Wii Fit Trainer. This in mind, it would seem like Nintendo has exhausted all of the best candidates for the game’s roster that boasts a total of 68 unique characters and 6 “Echo Fighters,” or characters whose movesets are nearly identical to that of an original fighter. Enter Waluigi. While ardent Smash fans are well acquainted with the criminal offense of him not being included in the game, some may be unfamiliar with the man, the myth, and the legend of the purple plumber.
Waluigi first hit the big time in Mario Tennis in 2000 as a partner for Wario, and as Luigi’s rival. Whereas Luigi was taller and skinnier than his brother Mario, Waluigi took his differences with Wario (a very short, rotund man) to the extreme. He is a beanpole of a man, being incredibly skinny and tall, and having very, very long arms and legs. His crowning feature, however, is his face. Waluigi’s gorgeously crafted moustache makes the shape of an “L” on either side of his long, crooked, and perfectly pink nose. His eyes have two perfect swooshes of baby blue beneath them. In Mario Tennis Aces, he takes off his purple hat, emblazoned with his trademark reverse “L”, and reveals a head of hair that any man would be proud to call his own. Since his debut 18 years ago, Waluigi has been a staple of every Mario spinoff game since. Using his lanky limbs, athletic prowess, and overall sports know-how to keep up with the competition, shouting his signature cry of “Waaa!” for any result, be it a win or a loss. Through his many outings, he has won the hearts and souls of millions of Nintendo fans as a relatable, quirky antihero, who always seems to be the butt of one of Nintendo’s jokes, or 12th place in a kart race.
Even though he has been ridiculed in the past, should not the massive groundswell of Waluigi support and the fact that Smash is Nintendo’s spin off to end all spin offs, make Waluigi a long-overdue newcomer? Well, Masahiro Sakurai and his team of developers at Sora Ltd. apparently don’t think so. Instead, they gave Princess Daisy, the forgettable Princess of Sarasaland featured in one Gameboy Mario game as a Princess Peach stand-in, the nod. But beyond that one minor role, she has appeared in, get this, the exact same spin off games that Waluigi has starred in. Heaping on a Wario-sized amount of insult to injury, the Nintendo E3 presentation of Smash Ultimate featured the new addition of being able to KO “Assist Trophies”, characters that are in the game but not playable. Instead of showing the traditional role of the Assist Trophy by displaying how they help the player rack up damage on their opponents, who better than Waluigi himself to be the victim of a mortal blow watched by millions of fans around the globe?
However, this blatant abuse of a relatable antihero isn’t enough for those who wish to undermine the noble name of Waluigi. There are those who make the audacious claim that Waluigi is just riding his current status as an Internet meme to overcome his irrelevance. After all, since he has not had his very own game, should he not be eternally relegated to Mario games for the rest of his career? What this statement ignores is that although Waluigi has not been the star of his very own game, many other characters in the game haven’t either. Rosalina and Bowser Junior, while being a supporting character and an antagonist in various titles, have never had the privilege of having a game to call their own. This aside, the combined fanbase of both of these Mario characters does not even stack up to the pointy tips of Waluigi’s suede leather shoes.
Love him or hate him, Waluigi is wholly deserving of a roster slot for the Super Smash Brothers series, be it in Ultimate, or even a later installment to be announced. Even if he does not end up getting into the roster, Waluigi will always have a place in our hearts.