Feature: Luigi's Diary - Extracts
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
It's tough being the younger brother
Luigi's everywhere at the moment, beginning his role as the focus of Nintendo's biggest campaign in the coming months — The Year of Luigi. He has a new game earning rave reviews and making a lot of 3DS owners very happy, he's gearing up for some joint adventures with Mario, a solo Wii U platforming spin-off and, beyond all of that, he has his own communities on Miiverse.
Seeing him as pixels, polygons and uncomfortably large real-life costumes as often as we do, it's easy for us to put Luigi on a pedestal as a figure of entertainment designed only to amuse us. While walking near a suspicious-looking mansion recently, however, we discovered something that gave us reason to pause. We spotted a small, green book lodged in the mud, and upon wiping it down we noticed that it was emblazoned with a familiar 'L'.
Our curiosity quickly got the better of us, and we were shocked to find that it contained the thoughts of the green one himself; his inner most feelings about key moments in his history. In the interest of public knowledge, we've picked out a few of the less inflammatory entries to share — and so, we present the following extracts from the Luigi Diaries.
Luigi, if you're reading this — you know how to contact us if you want your book back.
Oh no, they've actually done it. When I realised I was going to appear in the Mario Bros. arcade I was psyched. The name annoyed me though — why not just Super Bros., Awesome Bros. or, even better, The Tall Attractive Brother and the Little Fat One? OK, so that last one was never going to fly but, still, them's the breaks; it seems a grumpy and overweight warehouse landlord called Mario inspired my bro's creation, rather than a tall, handsome chap called Luigi. I just have to live with that.
But I'm a palette swap, and I'm player two. No-one wants to be player two, because being number two is being number nowhere, right? We all want to be number one, so I'm probably being called the "green Mario" by kids in arcades all over the world right now. All of my distinctive features have been left out to make a programmer's life easier, so I'm little more than a green afterthought. I'm green in other ways, I really am; green with envy.
Ha! It finally happened! I've been given something like an accurate portrayal in one of big bro's games, and about time too. I don't care how it happened — scandalous tricksters say my character is a re-skinned lady from Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, pfft — but I'm taller, I can jump higher, and I'm just awesome in every way. So, fine, I'm not the quickest runner, but this is a platformer, so most of our time is spent jumping around; you don't need speed for that, you need a good jump, and I've always been a better jumper than Mario.
Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of love for my brother; he is heavy, but he's still my brother. But it's nice to get some spotlight at last, especially with my good buddy Toad coming along; we get on well because he has his own problems, what with all his relatives having the same name as him. It's nice to have Princess Toadstool along too, and she's really useful for some of those super-long jumps but, damn, I can see this thing with Mario going on forever. Although we rescued her in the first Super Mario Bros. game and they were clearly hitting it off, they do little more than exchange letters and occasionally eat cake. Are these dates, or what?
Anyway, who cares? The world is finally seeing what I can do, so it can only get better from here.
Dear diary, it's been a while since I shared my thoughts, I'm really sorry. It's been a tough few years though, it really has. After my excitement at the world seeing something like the real me in Super Mario Bros. 2, I've been pushed back to the margins and squashed down to look like Mario again. Super Mario Bros. 3 was fantastic and will go down as one of the greats, and I had a blast on the rare occasions a second player joined in, but I was nothing but a palette swap yet again. All my hopes for a resurgence in popularity were crushed, and as always my older bro was the big hero.
And so it continued in his big Super NES debut, Super Mario World, again hugely frustrating as it'll be considered one of the best games of all-time and practically no-one will say, "it was great playing as Luigi", or "I preferred playing as Luigi". At this rate I'll lose my name and just become an un-named member of the "Bros.", like those unfortunate Koopalings — how many people know them by name?
I know that's all doom and gloom, so I should say it's nice to be back as myself, and not a green clone, in Super Mario All-Stars. It's awesome to have my own pixels again, so at least some of my fans — I have fans, right? — are bound to be happy.
Ugh, it's tough not to be jealous of Mario right now. Not content with being the man in 2D platformers, he's gone all 3D and amazed everyone in Super Mario 64. It's being hailed as "a revolution in gaming", even though those polygons aren't exactly doing Mario's figure or those fat cheeks any favours. I do like the start screen though, I'm sure Mario doesn't mind me messing with his nose...
I am happy for him though, of course, but can't help but be jealous. I have but one solo game to my name — so lousy I don't even want to talk about it — and in recent times I've just been scrapping around for cameo roles. It pays for the mustache trimmers and spare hats, but it's not particularly fulfilling being "the brother". I'm sure I'll get to join in with Mario's 3D capers if they ever remake this N64 game, but the magic will be lost by then; you only redefine a genre once.
Oh boy, the day's here. IT'S FINALLY HERE!!! I'm starring in my own game, I can't believe it, and I'm representing Nintendo at the launch of what's sure to be it's biggest console EVER. It's this cool cube with awesome specs and a funky controller — AND A HANDLE!!! I'm so excited I keep breaking into capital letters, this is just too much.
Naturally, in LUIGI'S MANSION I'm doing my own thing, not just more running and jumping like Mario. I'm hunting ghosts like a bad-ass — well, OK, I get a bit scared now and then, but who wouldn't? There's some other launch game for GameCube based on a movie franchise from the '70s and '80s — good luck with that! — and a console called the PlayStation 2, but none of them can stop me and the Cube. World domination awaits.
Well, Luigi's Mansion didn't go to plan. Man, I feel bummed, and it was all a bit unfair. People kept talking about Mario and trying to compare my game to Super Mario 64, as if that's fair! Plus everyone seemed more impressed with that sci-fi space shooter-type game from that old movie franchise; I just don't know what happened.
Even worse is that the GameCube is getting whooped by the PS2, which I didn't see coming; that awesome design I spoke about, everyone says it looks like a kids toy, which isn't a good image to have. Even Mario's latest adventure couldn't salvage things, and even he had critics saying it wasn't as good as expected; it's not often that I have to comfort Mario, but I've had to help him out in the past year.
On the plus side the adversity has made us stronger as brothers. We're appearing together in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, which we're both really proud of and think shows our humorous side. I may not be as heroic or steely-eyed as Mario in the face of danger, but I'm playing my part in making the game awesome with my character, which feels good. Being a co-star is great, too, and we're hoping the series will go on with the boss-men's next handheld, which is some crazy contraption with two screens. Talk about blast from the past — Mr. Game & Watch is pretty chuffed.
Still, we're all pulling together, though my solo career may be on hold for a while.
Well, I said it would be a while. It's been nearly ten years since I last wrote a meaningful diary entry beyond "replace mustache trimmer", or "get a hat with a better shade of green". Frankly myself, Mario and all of our friends have been busy saving the Nintendo name. I've been playing a ton of sports, racing, and also joined in with Mario's "New" series of 2D platformers. My big bro has also re-defined that 3D platforming genre again by shooting off into outer space, and I've had a really cool role. In fact, there are a load of gamers that have played through the whole game as me — my awesome high jump is pretty handy — which makes me feel good. Mario's name is on the box, but I feel like I have some real fans out there.
We've also done more Mario & Luigi games, which is fantastic, and they've been big highlights for me.
The big thing though, my dear diary, is that the boss-men have made this The Year of Luigi. How good is that? It's feels like my loyalty has really paid off, and not only that but I'm back with Luigi's Mansion 2 on 3DS; let me tell you, reviewers have been loving this game. I have a good feeling this one will do well, it's so exciting.
There's so much coming, too, and the spotlight is on me! Mario's been so busy that's he's stepping back a bit, but I'm looking forward to our Dream Team adventure together. I'm planning to go solo on Wii U later this year with New Super Luigi U, and I'm one of the talking points on Miiverse.
I'm feeling the love, and finally like an important part of the Nintendo family.