We all know about the Mario Brothers, those stewards of diligence in industries as diverse as plumbing, professional sports, and beating up other beloved Nintendo characters. But Wario and Waluigi—ah, now there’s a mystery. Who are these mysterious inversions of our well-known brothers Mario?

Perhaps we do not love them enough to ask, because it wasn’t until Luigi died that we at Sidequest found ourselves questioning things. According to Kotaku, Waluigi is Luigi’s son. But is that true? Does that mean that Wario is Mario’s son? From whence did these two enigmas in Nintendo’s canon come?

Your humble Sidequest writers put our thinking caps on and came up with a few potential answers. No need to thank us, we already know we’re doing vital work here.

A screenshot of Mario Tennis Aces showing Waluigi grinning wildly and swinging his racket. Mario Tennis Aces, Camelot, Nintendo, 2018.


Wario and Waluigi Come From Parallel Dimensions, Summoned By the Power of Sports

Theory 1:

Wario and Waluigi are Mario and Luigi’s other-world counterparts who somehow left the Dream World (Subcon) in Super Mario Bros. 2.

Theory 2:

There has to be some secret sports parallel universe as these two—Waluigi in particular—only ever appear in the spin-off sports and party games. The recent Mario Tennis game, Mario Tennis Aces, has Mario fight enemies through the power of tennis™, which never happens in the main games. Mario world-jumps all the time, but can he dimension-jump? Frightening implications.

Theory 3:

Waluigi has yet to appear in any Wario games, so he might actually not be real. Figment of someone’s imagination?

— Elvie Mae Parian

The Facial Hair is a Clue

They obviously hail from the same goatee dimension as Evil Spock, et al.

— Annie Blitzen

Wario and Waluigi as they appear in Mario Party DS. Mario Party DS, Hudson Soft, Nintendo, 2007.

Silent Hill/Mario Crossover WHEN?

They are the Silent Hill monsters of Mario and Luigi, personifying their worst traits and living only to shamble around abandoned Mario Party boards towns.

— Heather Wells

Everything We Know is a Lie

I also subscribe to the goatee dimension theory. Wario and Mario are twisted versions of the Mario brothers we know. They cross over presumably through some kind of dimensional portal, or perhaps through the meddling of Master Hand, who maybe plucked them out of their world and dropped them into ours.

But listen: do we know for certain that they’re evil? I can only think of how much fun I had with WarioWare versus the decided lack of fun I’ve had with Mario games (that whooshing sound was all my credibility vanishing into thin air). What if Wario and Waluigi are really the good guys? Makes you think.

— Melissa Brinks