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Luigi (Japanese: ルイージ [ruīji]) is Mario's younger (or twin) brother from Nintendo video games. Luigi's full name is believed to be Luigi Mario, while his brother's full name is believed to be Mario Mario (this is generally accepted as fanon; according to the Mario Bros. movie and television series, their surname is Mario, but this has never been officially supported by Nintendo). He first appeared in Mario Bros. as the character of player two, and his role as player two's character continued in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World.
Luigi's name was inspired by a pizza parlor near Nintendo of America's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, which was called Mario & Luigi's. His name also serves simultaneously as a pun of the Japanese word 類似 (ruiji), meaning "similar" or "analogous" (based on his original role as a copy of Mario).
Because of software constraints of the time, Luigi initially appeared as a palette swap of Mario, identical except in terms of color. As technology improved, Luigi evolved into a physically distinct character, taller and thinner than his brother. Luigi's personality has also been developed over the years and he is depicted as being more nervous and panicky than his brother.
In America's Super Mario Bros. 2 (not to be confused with Japan's Super Mario Bros. 2), Luigi was one of the four characters that players could choose to play as. He was characterized in that game as having the highest and longest jump of the playable characters. This feature made him quite popular among fans of the series. Luigi has starred in two games, the first of which was the edutainment title Mario Is Missing!, released for the SNES and PC. It was a fairly lacklustre game, involving Luigi traveling throughout the world and answering questions related to well-known lands he was visiting (e.g., Japan and Russia). The game was not produced by Nintendo and remains one of the few Mario games created and developed entirely by an American third-party developer. His second starring role was in Luigi's Mansion, released for the Nintendo GameCube. He also co-starred in a 2003 game called Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga (the unofficial sequel to Paper Mario) in which you control both Mario and Luigi to save Princess Peach again.
In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Baby Luigi was kidnapped by Kamek the Magikoopa. He was freed due to the efforts of many Yoshies after the defeat of Baby Bowser.
In the remake of Super Mario World for Game Boy Advance, Luigi is slightly more integral, as you have a choice between Mario or Luigi. Luigi can jump higher and run faster and he is designed to be the easier character to play as.
Luigi was also a playable character in the Mario Party series, for the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo GameCube.
With the debut of Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64, Luigi also gained his own rival, Waluigi. (Waluigi is a counterpart to Wario.) Waluigi has since appeared in the Mario Party series, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Mario Power Tennis.
Luigi is also a hidden character in the N64 hit Super Smash Bros. and in the GameCube sequel Super Smash Bros. Melee. His style of fighting is similar to Mario's but Luigi jumps significantly higher, has immense hangtime, and has less traction. (Luigi has the lowest traction in the game, making him the best candidate for wavedashing, which is an advanced technique for moving quickly.) His Green Missile move was added to his arsenal for Super Smash Bros. Melee. It is similar to Pikachu's Skull Bash in that he propels himself horizontally to a distance determined by how long he charges the move. His taunt pose is the only one in either Smash Bros. game that can cause damage to enemies: it inflicts 1% damage and functions as a Meteor Smash (i.e., spiking move) too. And unlike Mario's fireballs, Luigi's fireballs travel in a straight horizontal path, though not as far.
Luigi makes an appearance in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. He appears in the audience a couple of times, and he has own adventures that mostly hinge on his making poor choices.
Luigi makes another appearance in Super Mario 64 DS for the new handheld Nintendo DS. He has high triple-jumping abilities (which is no surprise considering his reputation for high jumps) and a backflip that's nearly as high as his triple jump but that allows him to cover great horizontal distances by spinning with his arms outstretched. Luigi also has a foot-flutter ability that slows his descents. In this game, when Luigi gets a Power Flower, he becomes invisible, which allows him to walk through enemies as well as some walls.
In the 1993 feature film Super Mario Bros., Luigi was played by John Leguizamo.
Last updated: 05-16-2005 14:23:27