Luigi is truly the most depressing videogame character ever


Image Credit: Courtesy of Nintendo

In the short, eventful history of videogaming, is there anyone more fundamentally tragic than Mario’s brother, Luigi? He is one of the most well-known game heroes. He has starred in several of the greatest and most popular games in history. In sharp contrast to his older brother — a failed physician-turned-racecar driver who throws horrible, endless parties and resembles a less fashionable clone of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec — Luigi is tall, slender, and affable. He can jump extremely high. He owns a mansion. And yet, he is forever trapped in the shadow of his more famous sibling. No one will ever refer to Luigi as “Super.” Sure, he can play for free at most golf and tennis clubs, but only if he brings his brother. The poor sap has an unrequited crush on Princess Daisy — one of Mario’s ex-girlfriends! Everything about Luigi sounds like a cruel cosmic joke designed to remind him that he is not Mario. According to the long-form birth certificate, his full name is “Luigi Mario.” By way of comparison, imagine if Richard Nixon’s full name was “Richard Milhous Uglier-And-Less-Charismatic-Than-JFK Nixon.”

Nintendo will occasionally give the poor guy the opportunity to emerge from his brother’s shadow, and like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News, Luigi never fails to utterly squander opportunities. In his first starring role, Mario is Missing, Luigi putzed around the world learning several valuable lessons about globalization. In Luigi’s Mansion, Mario went missing again, and Luigi had to fight ghosts with… a vacuum cleaner. It was like Super Mario Sunshine, except without the sunshine and also terrible. The GameCube never recovered from the stench of lameness. Presumably, after the failure of Mansion, Luigi descended into a spiral of depression and prescription drugs. In Super Mario Galaxy, he appeared confused and over-anxious, regularly requiring his brother to rescue him from the simplest traps. His reputation as the Johnny Drama of videogames was thus cemented.

But yesterday, at E3, Nintendo warned consumers about the impending arrival of Luigi’s Mansion 2 on the 3DS, probably because the interns needed something to work on and it was either this or Wario’s Woods 2. In the preview video, Luigi gets scared and points his vacuum cleaner at ghosts. (Yeesh, even Goofy the Dog was a more badass ghost hunter.) But don’t take my word for it! Check out the Mansion video below.

PopWatchers, could this finally be the kid’s breakout? Or will he forever be the Garfunkel to Mario’s Simon?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Read more on E3:
E3 2011: Hot girls! Cool games! VERY LOUD TRAILERS! Our impressions of day one!
E3 2011: Nintendo unveils new console! But will it recapture hardcore gamers?
Nintendo Wii U: We’ve played the successor to the Wii!
E3 2011: EA and Ubisoft tease ‘Mass Effect 3,’ ‘Rayman Origins,’ and more
Sony unveils PlayStation Vita at E3 (and apologizes about that pesky network outage)

Comments (24 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2
  • Vince from NYC

    Ha! This is an awesome article. Don’t forget, he was played by John Leguizamo in that crappy 90’s movie..

    • Voodoo

      Oh dear god, I was trying to forget that…

      • Pumas

        I would like to win bceuase I need these money for the New Year’s gifts and fireworks. I’m from Russia and it’s a pity what I cannot win Wii, but the money will be good replace.

    • Kyle

      I’ve never seen that, and I want to now even though I know it’s awful, LOL.

      • Desconocido

        if you have never if you have never palyed it, get it now. if you passed it 10 years ago do it again. if you have only ever palyed the DS remake play it propperly!

    • Kristina

      Sorry, but I have a soft spot in my heart for that movie.

      And I loved “Luigi’s Mansion” for the GameCube. One of my favorite games to come out that era. It was fun and a challenge. AND once you beat it, you could do it all over again, but backwards, I believe. You know what, I think I am going to start playing it all over again before it is released on the 3DS.

  • Heather

    Yeah, but at least his evil side (Waluigi) looks like the Peculiar Purple Pieman from the Strawberry Shortcake cartoons :)

    • Meier

      Or Salvador Dali.

  • Jay

    Luigi cant be doing THAT bad…. I mean, he did used to be just as fat as Mario back in the day (He was only a color swap of the same character)
    So you would have to assume he started exercising and eating right. The higher jumping ability was probably gained from that as well.
    Who cares if Mario is more famous? Paris Hilton is famous, too… and we all know her un-famous sisters are better people

  • Brady

    Well, he’s not gonna break-out with this piece of nonsense. While I do slightly hate myself for having once been mildly frightened while playing Luigi’s Mansion, it was sad and pathetic. I don’t know why there’s not just a kick-ass stand-alone adventure game where some uncreatively-named character like Lowser (get it? Bowser but with an L… for Luigi) comes along, kidnaps Daisy, and takes her to the untapped market of Shigeru Miyamoto’s choice like underwater or the jungle and just have Luigi go after her by himself. Hire me Nintendo.

  • Stacie

    Poor Luigi, the beta male of the video game world. I much prefer him in Super Smash Bros Brawl over Mario.

  • Peter

    Something’s gumming up the plumbing
    Poor Luigi’s in a bind
    Giant turtles out to get him,
    Creepy crabs are right behind.
    Fighter flies,
    Jeeper jipes!
    They’re all coming out the pipes!
    (tune of “Car 54 Where Are You”, from the ad for the home version of Mario Brothers. Can’t remember my anniversary, but I remember that)

  • sd

    i always preferred playing as luigi rather than mario, particularly in mario kart N64.

  • Betty

    Luigi is my 8 year old sons favorite nintendo character. Funny article though.

    • Mahnoor

      Viernes 2 de abril de 2010 a las 8:13 pmest a bacan el boelpr de mario hagan otro estuvo bueno sigan asi con ese humor

  • Daily

    Agreed. This guy ruined the Super Mario Galaxy game with his find me side missions.

  • tracy bluth


  • KBVM

    The best line is:

    “It was like Super Mario Sunshine, except without the sunshine and also terrible.

  • Cari

    This article gets a win for the Broadcast News reference alone. Personally I always liked Luigi in a root-for-the-underdog kind of way.

  • ruby

    I’ve always liked Luigi way more than Mario. In fact, i’ve always had an irrational hatred of the latter. But I like way Wario more than both combined. Especially on Mariokart!

  • Nick

    haha i love this post! I don’t think Luigi’s Mansion was a bad game, per se, but it was EXTREMELY tedious – ALL you do is sucking up ghosts…they should’ve added more gameplay to it and it would’ve been great!

  • alfie

    letsa go okey dokey

Page: 1 2
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by VIP