2023 felt off. Something was wrong with the vibes. And now I know what cursed the year to be so awful: Nintendo forgot about Waluigi.
You know, Waluigi: the tall, lanky, and decidedly villainous doppelganger of Luigi. Like Mario’s own cranky and smelly evil copycat, Wario, in most Nintendo games Waluigi is presented as a devious, dastardly troublemaker. The odd character debuted in 2000’s Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64, created as a partner for Wario. And over the last two decades he’s appeared in at least one Nintendo game every year, sometimes playable, sometimes as a cameo. But something must have happened last year, as Nintendo seemingly forgot to include the internet’s favorite weirdo in any of its games, giving us our first Waluigi-less year since the popular character’s inception.
On January 2, this horrible bit of trivia was first spotted and shared on Twitter (or X or whatever, who cares) by the folks running the Super Mario Wiki.
As seen on the extensive fan wiki, Waluigi has appeared as a playable character or cameo in at least one Nintendo game every year since 2000. Like Old Faithful, Waluigi was predictably there every year, even if other characters like Mario got top billing. It didn’t matter. Waluigi is a true professional and cares about his fans and his craft.
But in 2023, something happened and the 22-year streak was broken. Waluigi’s last appearance was in 2022’s Mario Strikers: Battle League.
Kotaku has contacted Nintendo about this terrible mistake.
Honestly, we should have expected this. Sure, fans love Waluigi—with folks even throwing bachelorette parties themed around the character--but Nintendo has always seemed less enamored with our favorite weirdo.
Case in point: It’s 2024 and Nintendo has yet to release a video game starring Waluigi. (There was supposedly a web-based Flash game starring Waluigi, but its existence is debated.) Sure, I’m happy Peach is getting her own game this year. That’s cool. But maybe after that Nintendo can make up for forgetting about Waluigi in 2023 by giving the dude his own game. He deserves it. Hell, we all deserve it after making it through 2023.