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Luigi Is Better Than Mario

Yes, Luigi is smarter than Mario. He's also braver, has a cooler girlfriend, and probably even smells better.

Article by Nadia Oxford, .

Yesterday, the Supper Mario Broth Nintendo blog tweeted an image from the Mario Party instruction booklet that suggests Luigi is smarter than his brother, Mario. Unlike most of the obscure facts and pictures Supper Mario Broth publishes, this factoid comes as a surprise to no one.

It's clear Luigi's smarter than Mario. He's also more personable than Mario, a better jumper than Mario, and – if you ask me – handsomer than Mario.

I'm not suggesting Luigi should take up the mantle of Nintendo's mascot, though. For one thing, he'd hate having the spotlight on him like that (Luigi's a shy guy). For another thing, Nintendo doesn't obsess with Luigi's image the way it obsesses with Mario's, so the lanky brother is actually allowed to be a scattered emotional wreck that people can relate to on some level.

Now, I like Mario. He's the personification of his games: He's strong, he's eager to take you exploring, and man, is he ever dependable. But he rarely deviates from his destiny. He's like a doll that walks in a designated direction as soon as its master hits the "ON" switch.

1 "Like" on this story = 1 prayer that Mike will get his Waluigi / Luigi dating simulator or whatever he has in mind.

Mario's occasionally offers us a glimpse of his humanity when he cheers on Luigi in the Mario + Luigi games. That's another reason to love Luigi, then: He breathes life into Mario, who otherwise tends to act like an action figure.

I'll also argue that Luigi is more courageous than Mario. Ask yourself: What is courage? Is it simply the ability to act fearlessly, like Mario? I don't think so. Sure, when Mario hears the call to battle, he never hesitates to fling himself feet-first at Bowser even though he knows he's going to get burnt, clawed, squished, and die a dozen other Nintendo deaths. That's not courage, though. That's a toxoplasmosis infection.

Real courage is standing up to your worst fears to save someone you love, or to yank the world back from the brink of destruction. Luigi lives in a state of perpetual terror, but he keeps himself together when people are counting on him. Whether that means picking up his trusty Poltergust or choreographing fancy battle moves alongside Mario, Luigi works twice as hard as his brother to keep the world safe from Bowser and his ilk. His knees may knock together, his teeth may chatter, and his heart may constantly be on the verge of leaping out of this throat and running down the street, but none of that matters. Luigi gets stuff done.

...I don't have anything snarky to say. This is too sweet.

Let's have a run-down of the additional reasons Luigi is the best Mario Bro:

  • His fursona is a Kitsune instead of a Tanooki -- In Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World, Mario assumes his classic Tanooki (tanuki) form when he grabs the leaf power-up. Luigi, however, has a new powered-up form all to himself: He becomes a kitsune, a fox spirit that often scraps with the raccoon-like tanuki in Japanese lore (the rivalry between Tom Nook and Crazy Red in the Animal Crossing games isn't just about counterfeit paintings). What's cooler? An ethereal fox who serves as a messenger for divine spirits, or a fat raccoon who's perpetually drunk on sake and has painfully huge testicles? You shouldn't even have to think about this.
  • Princess Daisy is his main squeeze -- I don't have anything against Mario's gal Princess Peach, but as someone who prefers hitting things with ski-poles and tennis racquets to wearing pink dresses, I have a soft spot for Daisy. I know I'd ask her to be my Mario universe girlfriend (if Mayor Pauline wasn't available. How could you let her go, Mario?).
  • Luigi is a hero to those of us who grew up with older siblings -- It's a privilege to be raised in a family of game-lovers. On the other hand, when you're on the bottom of the totem pole age-wise, things can get rough. At worst, your older sibling(s) may force you to recite "I'm a stupid stinky doo-doo head" before they'll let you have a turn at the Nintendo (not that I'm speaking from experience, ha ha! …Ha). At best, you wind up being Player 2. That's not so bad when Luigi is in the hizzouse, however. You get to spend time together and share the pain of being a younger sibling without exchanging a single word.
Hi, we're all Daisy.

Sometimes it's just nice to take it easy and travel down the road your older sibling smooths out for you. You may not gain the popularity, and attention of your well-recognized kin, but that's OK. You get to live life a little more slowly, a little more cautiously.

That's the Luigi Way. It's the best way.

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Comments 18

  • Avatar for Jaegermeist3r #1 Jaegermeist3r 4 months ago
    You forgot one point: he's doing some serious ghost hunting in his spare time (to save his brother). That's why I love the Luigi's mansion games. They put Luigi in the hot spot including all the charming little details like his whistling.
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  • Avatar for swamped #2 swamped 4 months ago
    Mario has the Mickey Mouse problem of not being allowed to have too much personality as as the face of a "family-friendly" company for fear too much cartoon rudeness would alienate some consumers (there are obvious exceptions, but this is the default role). He's a blank slate. Look at how many jobs he's had: ring announcer, Picross archaeologist, chef, baby, all star sports pro, board game enthusiast, and of course plumber. His tendency to fall into that audience stand-in role is necessary, but it's equally necessary to surround this type of character with big personalities, and I think Nintendo does a great job with that, particularly with Luigi.
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  • Avatar for Daikaiju #3 Daikaiju 4 months ago
    Nadia speaks Truth. Recognize!
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #4 SatelliteOfLove 4 months ago
    Well, he does have That Stare.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #5 LBD_Nytetrayn 4 months ago
    @Jaegermeist3r "Whether that means picking up his trusty Poltergust..."
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  • Avatar for kazriko #6 kazriko 4 months ago
    One of my favorite Luigi things is this, Ennuigi. https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=2232
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #7 Roto13 4 months ago
    In Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, you could occasionally meet up with Luigi and have him tell you about the adventure he was having on his own, with his own magical mcguffins and party members and whatnot. I always wanted to play that game.
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #8 VotesForCows 4 months ago
    @kazriko I forgot about that. Its fantastic! So grim.
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  • Avatar for Jaegermeist3r #9 Jaegermeist3r 4 months ago
    @Roto13 you should. it has aged really well. I replayed it last year and it was a ton of fun.
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  • Avatar for MarioIV #10 MarioIV 4 months ago
    Nope, Mario is the best.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #11 riderkicker 4 months ago
    What is courage? It's the ability to face fear and master it!
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  • Avatar for Wellman2nd #12 Wellman2nd 4 months ago
    Luigi is always the correct answer when asking who is the most interesting and best of the two Mario Bros. His own solo games may not be the best compared to Mario but Luigi still is the better sibling.
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  • Avatar for The-Challenger #13 The-Challenger 4 months ago
    Luigi provides great comedic relief. I wonder if Nintendo will one day create parents for these two? I bet Luigi takes after his Mom.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #14 NiceGuyNeon 4 months ago
    How do you spell courage? L-U-I-G-I!
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #15 nadiaoxford 4 months ago
    @The-Challenger There's a line in the Super Show where Mario says "I was born with a plunger in my hand," and Luigi responds "Boy, that was rough on mom." The implications are hilarious and terrifying.
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  • Avatar for The-Challenger #16 The-Challenger 4 months ago
    @nadiaoxford R.I.P. Mrs Mario...
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  • Avatar for Mixingmetaphorsoup #17 Mixingmetaphorsoup 4 months ago
    "That's not courage, though. That's a toxoplasmosis infection."

    That was too funny, Nadia.
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  • Avatar for Jeremiah-Jones #18 Jeremiah-Jones 4 months ago
    Absolute truth written here. I hated how they changed him from the "cool brother" in the 90s, with his crossed arms pose in Super Mario World to the overly scared current version. Though, after all of the bottomless pit jumping, spike ceiling dodging, lava filled pit navigating, I totally understand his fear. Rainbow Road is terrifying enough these days.

    Also, Daisy is indeed the hotter one in comparison to Peach. After Peach stopped eating cakes, I lost interest...
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