by Michael Quinn, Nintendo Will to Power Correspondent
I wish to dispel an abhorrent fallacy touted by my so-called intellectual “peers”; that Waluigi represents the totally denigrated individual in a postmodern age. That, as a reflective copy of Luigi, who is himself the inferior mimesis of Mario, the “original individual,” Waluigi is the heir of a fractured and disenfranchised identity, a concept we can relate to in our landscape of cultural starvation and auto-cannibalism. By this thesis we, like Waluigi, are desperate attempts at self-configured identity, cursed to have nothing to name ourselves by but the ruins of cultural artifacts that themselves have been in a state of compulsory regurgitation for decades.
It tempts us to keel over and die under the weight of our culture’s carcass, simply because eating our way through it is the only other option. Mario lacks the gall to walk over corpses. Waluigi will carry us through.
My antithesis is built on a single linch-pin: that Luigi is, unflinchingly, superior to Mario. The modern evolution. Harder, better, faster, stronger. Luigi is the unsung heroic foil to Mario’s archetypal “man against the world” complex. Mario seeks to be a sourceless identity, but he is the most vapidly lauded “main character” there can be; nothing but the filled shoes of a tired protagonist role. Luigi on the other hand needs no illusion of a central role in his universe to have fulfillment. he quietly excels and derives deep joy from the passions of tennis, karting, and general exploration of himself and his world, for no purpose but the experience itself. Luigi is the one whose inner universe makes sense in a post-madness age, while Mario clings to the dead story of being a slayer of dragons; a savior of princesses. The new world has no dragons, and nothing worth saving. Luigi understands this.
Luigi’s alter-ego in Super Paper Mario, a villain named Mr. L, is his triumph over morality. Luigi stands unbowing to the illusion of right and wrong imposed by whichever war-criminals of the century decided to define justice. While Mario enslaves himself to the order of law, Luigi practices anarchy of the *soul*. Luigi destroys his identity and reconstructs himself untethered by “good” and “evil.” Why? Because he is capable of liberating and re-engineering his Id through his will, against society and state, to define a meaningful existence in a world where none exists. He walks a territory of individualist nihilism where Mario fears to tread. Luigi is a Randian hero in the likeness of Howard Roark, while Mario is Gale Wynand.
Luigi’s labyrinthian exorcism of his Haunted Mansion, a mansion which ensnared Mario, is a metaphor for his ultimate triumph against the age of reason and romanticism, the age of antiquity. Luigi walked through the mansion of the past, the reliquary of man’s pathetic ego that he built to himself: history, and was reborn on the other side. Mario is Ozymandias. Luigi is the Poet.
And Waluigi? He is Luigi’s Id in total abandonment of the vestiges of Luigi’s form and antiquated origin. Obscured and sharpened! Reborn to himself. Re-mixed as if from an alternate universe of the subconscious. Un-enslaved by even his own sense of *self*-history. Waluigi is the one whose existence is sane in the new age. A rebirth of a rebirth of a corpse. He is the Ubermensch.
To those who hold their dying messiah of classicism, Mario, up to the cold neon light of modernity, praying that he will turn it into a benevolent sun, I say this:
No gods. No kings. Only WAH.