It's a trope almost as old as time. The evil twin who's a dark reflection of the hero. Superman and Bizarro. Godzilla and Mechagodzilla. And of course, Mario and Wario. Though he didn't appear until well into Mario's career, Wario established himself quickly as the heroic plumber's number two enemy, behind only Bowser. At first any way. As time has gone on, Wario has diverged from just being Mario's dark reflection and become his own unique character.
That makes sense as we've learned more about their rivalry. Wario isn't much of a villain any more, even if he does still hate Mario. But the relationship and animosity between the two has led to some interesting interactions over the years. Where Mario goes out of his way to save the day, Wario doesn't even go out of his way to save his own businesses. It runs deeper than you think.
Here are 20 Wild Revelations About Wario and Mario's Rivalry
20 Wario: Castle Thief
The first time gamers met Wario was in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. And he made an impression straight away. In that game, he stole Mario's castle right out from under him. Wario didn't even force Mario out. He just broke in and changed the locks while Mario was rescuing Princess Daisy in Super Mario Land.
19 Mario Steals The Glory
This is not a one-sided rivalry either. Mario gives as good as he gets. In the first Wario Land game, Wario managed to rescue a gold statue of Princess Peach. Before he could return it himself though, Mario busted into Wario's house and stole it and his glory. Real nice, Mario.
18 Peachy Keen
Wario hates Mario for many reasons, but a big one is jealousy. There have been hints that the yellow-clad fellow has a crush on Princess Peach and doesn't like how close Mario is with her. In one Nintendo Power comic, he even tries one-upping the plumber by stealing his birthday gift to Peach and saying it was from him.
17 There Can Only Be One
Bowser will always be Mario's arch-nemesis. Their mutual hatred is so strong that the Koopa King will even step in to stop others from beating Mario. Others like Wario. That's what happened in the opening cinematic of Mario Super Sluggers. Bowser stopped Wario from taking out Mario because he's the only one allowed to defeat him.
16 Childhood Enemies
The roots of this rivalry go back further than most know. A Nintendo Power comic revealed that Wario began hating Mario way back in childhood. The two played cops and robbers together as kids and Mario always made Wario play the robber. This sparked a fire of resentment in Wario that grew as Mario got older and famous.
15 They Both Hate Bowser
Wario and Mario don't agree on much, but they do agree when it comes to the Koopa King. They both can't stand him. Mario's reasons are obvious, princess-taking and all, but Wario's are more petty. He just doesn't like the competition as Mario's rival and taunts Bowser every chance he gets. They're also golf rivals.
14 Burying The Hatchet
Despite how much they dislike each other, Wario and Mario will put aside their differences at times. The clearest example is in Super Mario 64 DS, where the two team up with Luigi and Yoshi to rescue Princess Peach. They'll also frequently partner up in Mario Party, but still butt heads occasionally.
13 They Share A Voice Actor
Mario and Wario are opposites but they do have one thing in common: their voices come from the same place. Voice Actor Charles Martinet has lent his talents to both characters since 1997. He also voices Luigi and Waluigi, completing the quartet, and holds the world record for most video game voice performances as one character.
12 Wario's Secret Origin
There's a deeper meaning behind Wario's creation. The Super Mario Land series, where the character debuted, wasn't made by Shigeru Miyamoto's crew but by Nintendo's R&D1 Team, the creators of Metroid and Kid Icarus. The dev team didn't like working with other people's characters, so they designed Wario to symbolize their situation.
11 First And Last
There's a weird synergy to Mario and Wario's rivalry in regards to the NES. They were there for the beginning and end of that legendary console. See, Super Mario Bros. was one of the first games Nintendo created for the system. And the last game they made for it was Wario's Woods, starring Wario (duh). Mario saw the NES in and Wario shoved it out.
10 Who's The Boss?
Despite first appearing as a big new threat to Mario, Wario has only been the final boss of a game a few times. And in one of those, he didn't even battle Mario! His first boss gig was Super Mario Land 2, where he debuted. Next would be a year later in Japan's Mario & Wario puzzle game, and last Wario's Woods in 1994.
9 Stronger Than He Looks
It might seem like Mario has the physical advantage over Wario. After all, the plumber is pretty fit while Wario is a fat slob. But don't let looks fool you, Wario is actually way stronger than Mario. His flab hides his muscle, and he's on par with Bowser and Donkey Kong. Mario bops blocks, but Wario breaks them.
8 Hostile Takeover
Mario might have taken his castle back, but Wario got the better prize. He stole the Super Mario Land series away from the plumber in red. Super Mario Land 3 got the subtitle Wario Land, and the numbering reset after that. After the character's popularity in Land 2, it was the right move from Nintendo.
7 The Feeling Is Mutual
Wario reserves much of his contempt for Mario, but he doesn't mind sharing it. He's just as much a jerk to the plumber's friends. The Wario Land 4 website says he likes tying Luigi's shoelaces together and he's made all the Toads afraid of him. They're even scared to mention his BO in Super Mario 64 DS.
6 That Stache
Gamers can see the difference between Mario and Wario in their mustaches. While Mario's mustache has gentle sweeps, Wario's has jagged zig-zags. Many would say Mario's stache is better. And yet, several bosses remark that Wario's flavor saver is more worthy than Mario's. They've all got mustaches too, so we guess they'd know.
5 The Meaning Of "Wario"
Since he first appeared, gamers have wondered where the name "Wario" comes from. Did Nintendo really just flip the M in Mario upside down? Turns out though, "Wario" is a mashup of the name "Mario" and the Japanese word "warui" meaning "bad." So his name literally means "Bad Mario." Fitting.
4 A Possible Inspiration?
Wario didn't just appear out of thin air. Some gamers have speculated that he and his buddy Waluigi might have been inspired by an older Nintendo game. The game Wrecking Crew, which starred Mario, featured a villain called Foreman Spike. Like Wario, he had a big pointy nose and wiggly mustache. Nintendo has never confirmed a connection though.
3 King (?) Of The Virtual Boy
Now here's a dubious victory for Wario. Unlike his rival, he got a headlining main series game, Virtual Boy Wario Land, on the Virtual Boy console. Mario only got two spin-off games like Mario's Tennis. But given that the Virtual Boy is a notorious flop, this isn't much of an achievement.
2 Smash Echoes
With Wario's inclusion in Brawl, this rivalry was finally brought to Super Smash Bros. It almost happened in Melee though. Early in development, developers considered including Wario as an Echo Fighter for Mario. They ended up using Dr. Mario instead. When Wario did arrive, he got his own unique move set.
1 Item For Item
The final battle of Super Mario Land 2 really drove home Wario as Mario's opposite. At each stage of the fight, Wario boosts himself with the same power-ups Mario's been using throughout the game. This includes both the classic Fire Flower to shoot fireballs and the Bunny Carrot that lets Wario fly. He also ate a Mushroom to grow huge.