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Video Game / Mario & Wario

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Note the inverse ratio of character size to presence in the actual game. In other words, Wario hardly appears in this game at all.
"A game with Mario wearing a bucket on his head!"
Copycat's SNES in Pokémon Red and Blue

Mario & Wario is a 1993 Puzzle Platformer video game exclusively for the Super Famicom developed by Game Freak. Yes, that Game Freak, designed by Satoshi Tajiri himself. It is one of few Mario games they made, before the birth of the Pokémon franchise, and one of very few games that utilized the system's mouse accessory.

One day, Mario, Luigi, Peach and Yoshi came to the Fairy's Forest in search of its fabled fairy of fortune, but Luigi got lost, causing the other three to get separated. Suddenly, a bucket landed on Mario's head, blocking his eyesight — the perpetrator was Wario, up high and out of reach in his personal plane, the Bulldog. The elusive fairy, Wanda, witnessed this crooked event and vowed to somehow reunite Mario and co. with Luigi. What she (and apparently everyone except Luigi) lacks in upper body strength, she more than makes up for with her Magic Wand!

This game's distinctive "M"/"W" Bucket appeared as a treasure in Kirby Super Star as well as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Wanda makes a reappearance as a spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate where you fight her, Mario, Peach, and Yoshi.

Not to be confused with the Nintendo Power comic, Mario vs. Wario.

This video game contains examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Princess Peach hasn't had a playable role since Super Mario Bros. 2 and wouldn't have a playable role until much later as well.
  • A Winner Is You: When you complete the entire game, you earn a screen that says "YOU ARE A SUPER PLAYER!"
  • All There in the Manual: As with many games of the time, the storyline and the names of stages, enemies and items.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Wario is a gargantuan in the background of the cover image, but this never happens in the game.
  • The Artifact: The infamous bucket from this game is later used in other Nintendo games but plays a less significant role.
  • The Bus Came Back: Pidgits from Super Mario Bros. 2 make a return as enemies in this game, sans carpet.
  • Competitive Balance: You can play as Peach, Mario, or Yoshi, each with different speeds and advantages.
    • Peach is the slowest which gives players more time to react but she teeters only once before falling off a ledge.
    • Mario is balanced with medium speed for first-time players and teeters twice before falling down a ledge.
    • Yoshi is the fastest for those who want to speedrun the game, however he moves so fast that he teeters three times before falling off.
  • Covers Always Lie: Nowhere in the game does Wario grow to Godzilla proportions.
  • Dark Reprise: The music for Level 10 is a more sinister version of the happy tune for Levels 1, 3, and 9.
  • Death Throws: Landing on spikes, touching an enemy, or running out of time causes this.
  • Demoted to Extra: Luigi is not playable and instead waits at each goal to remove the object off of your head.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Level 8, Dry Dry Desert, is the last of the eight stages the game allows you to select, but then the game pulls a fast one on you twice.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Princess Peach is referred to as "Princess" in-game, just like Super Mario Bros. 2.
    • Back when Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was released, Wario was an antagonist. This game had him as more of a Jerkass with a big mansion rather than a full-on villain, and soon afterwards began his Villain Decay.
    • The Player Character is a fairy named Wanda, who never showed up in a Mario game again, but she does get an expy in Wario's Woods, a game that also involved Wario in a forest, as the fairy that assists Toad.
    • The stages consist of ten "levels" not counting EXTRA with a set of ten "courses" each - the series standard term "world" is not used.
  • Escort Mission: The entire game is escorting your character to the goal safely.
  • Evil Laugh: At the beginning of each stage, Wario drops an object on the character's head and flies away laughing.
  • Excuse Plot: Wario dropped something on someone's head, and now a guardian fairy needs assistance from Luigi to remove the thing from their head. Rinse and repeat many, ''many'' times.
  • Fairy Companion: Inverted. The player controls Wanda, whose duty is to guide the characters through the game.
  • Fake Difficulty: Getting a game over usually takes you to the beginning of a stage. However, getting a game over in Level 10 takes you all the way back to Level 9-1.
  • Falling Damage: Downplayed where you aren't physically hurt, but falling a great height results in your character being stunned in place for a few seconds upon landing.
  • Fat Bastard: Wario, of course. He is practically Nintendo's Ur-Example.
  • For the Evulz: Wario has no real reason or motivation for dropping stuff on their heads.
  • Funny Background Event: In the background of Level 4, you can see several Rexes from Super Mario World trapped inside blocks of ice.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • You know how all the blocks are outlined with dotted lines when not in use? Guess what, there are also invisible blocks that you have to find completely on your own and maybe even randomly because they are purely invisible with no dotted outline. Probably accentuated by the fact that they are blue "!" blocks and it's meant to surprise you that you discovered them.
    • Also, be careful when you destroy rocky blocks because they don't respawn and you can accidentally trap yourself into losing a life and starting all over.
    • Wanda's wand can destroy enemies, most enemies. The game doesn't tell you this and if you try to destroy the fireballs, they only stay shrunk and move slower, you can't destroy them. However, sometimes this can greatly benefit or severely wreck you.
  • Idiot Ball: A common complaint is that why don't Mario, Peach, and Yoshi simply remove the thing from their head instead of walking around blindly? There are theories that Wario used a magic bucket (and other magical objects) that can't be removed by the victim themselves.note  This doesn't explain how the objects end up on their head again for EVERY STAGE. There is another theory that when Luigi tosses the object into the air, it lands on the character's head, leaving them blinded again and Wanda has to guide them once again.
  • Invincible Minor Minion:
    • The fireballs (or Guriguri) that crawl along ceilings and walls can't be killed, but they start off big and move fast and you can permanently shrink them and slow their movement. However, this isn't always beneficial...
    • The Gordo-like enemies that move around that can't be destroyed by any means whatsoever.
  • It Amused Me: Wario gets a kick out of being a jerk.
  • Jerkass: Wario drops things on people's heads because it's hilarious to him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After getting whacked in the head 9 times in a row wasn't enough, Wario tries to escape after Level 10 and you chase after him in your plane and after flying above Wario, drop an "M" bucket on his head for sweet justice as he falls and crashes.
  • Level 1 Music Represents: The music for Level 1 is used in three stages while the other stages' music are only used once. The Level 1 music is used yet again only rewritten as a Dark Reprise for the final stage.
  • Mythology Gag: Just like Super Mario World, there is a bonus world like the Special world where despite the levels having a fun psychedelic design, are significantly harder than the levels from the rest of the game. As well as completing then earns you the congratulatory "YOU ARE A SUPER PLAYER!".
  • Name and Name: "Mario and Wario". Despite Wario hardly appearing in the game he gets top billing.
  • Nintendo Hard: Oh God, yes. One of the hardest puzzle-platformers to date.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Unlike other Mario games, there is no way to get an item to increase your hit points. Oh, and you can't stomp enemies either.
  • Perpetual Smiler: No matter what happens, Yoshi is always smiling.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Princess Peach is the only female playable character.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Level 9 reuses the happy bouncy music as Level 1 despite being significantly harder. And the EXTRA level plays a fun and catchy tune while featuring the most difficult and frustrating levels in the entire game.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Everyone can breathe underwater and even walk around with no trouble.
  • Timed Mission: Every single course. This is really grating because in total, the meter only gives you about three minutes to clear the course.
  • Variable Mix: In the level selection screen, the instruments change depending on which character you chose.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can either lead Mario, Peach, and Yoshi to safety or to their doom. How do you turn your character around from danger? Well, by whacking them in the noggin, of course! (Repeatedly and as many times as you need to.)