It's raining hard in Brooklyn on the day we arranged to meet with Luigi Mario. Better known mononymously as "Luigi", he's the brother in green and partner in crime to Mario Mario, who tragically died this week at the age of 35. He's running a little late, but we can't blame him - the last time he was out in public was for the grand state funeral of his only sibling.
We spot him, about to cross the road opposite the café where we agreed to meet. It's easy to tell that he's trying to keep a low profile, with sunglasses, a coat with the collar pulled up, and a plastic bag over his iconic green hat, but it's not working - the paparazzi are following him like a pack of dogs.
When he enters the café, the customers watch him in silence, whispering unsubtle remarks, pity etched across their faces. He sees us, and grabs the seat opposite.
"It's-a-me," he says, wearily - the catchphrase of his departed brother sounding unfamiliar in his moustachioed mouth. "Woo-hoo."
We begin gently, asking how he's doing, enquiring about the state of his career. It's been almost two years since his last solo turn on-screen in Luigi's Mansion 3, a thrilling game about a haunted hotel.
"I had to sell the mansion, of course," he says, taking a deep inhale on a cigarette. "I couldn't get insurance on a place that big, with that many issues." The hotel trip was supposed to be a respite from the stress of his fame, but it didn't work out as planned. "I'm still on the medication that [Dr Mario] prescribed me," he says, taking a small orange bottle from a coat pocket and rattling it.
Right now, he's taking a break from the limelight, even though he was always in Mario's shadow. His various obligations and press meetings - other than this one - have been delegated to Paper Luigi. "He's doing a great job," Luigi notes, but adds - slightly bitterly - "of course, his brother's still around."
I ask about 2013 - the highlight of his career, The Year of Luigi. What was that like for him? And how did it feel to step out of the wings onto centre stage, for once?
"Ah," he sighs. "It was wonderful. But, at the same time... it was a lot of pressure. After thirty years of being the sidekick, it's tough to adjust to the fame. And... well." He trails off for a moment, looking wistfully out of the rain-streaked window. "Let's just say it increased certain tensions in the family."
Luigi and Mario launched their career together as the "Mario Bros.", a title which Luigi is quick to point out comes from their shared second name, although it also happens to be Mario's first name. Like many sibling-based acts, they had their fall outs - notably their televised fight in 1999, which would later be retconned by Nintendo into the title Super Smash Bros., in an attempt to hide the disagreement between the two brothers.
"I've-a always been the Player Two to Mario's success," says Luigi, staring into a cup of coffee darker than the bags under his eyes. "You know, I didn't mind, at first." But, since the bombshell revelation that Mario was paid twice what Luigi had been for Mario Tennis Aces, the rift between the brothers grew once more. Mario was secretly recorded at the time as saying, "It''s-a my name on the box, and Luigi couldn't win a single match just like-a he can't grow a beard."
In the days following his brother's untimely death, Luigi hasn't seen anyone other than at the funeral. "Peach keeps sending cakes," he says. "Yoshi just leaves a bunch of eggs at the door. But I need to get used to being alone."
Now that Mario is dead, will Luigi take the helm as the new spokesman of the huge Super Mario franchise? "I don't see how I could," he says. "Mario's face is everywhere. I mean, you wouldn't ask Squirtle to take over for Pikachu, would you?"
Luigi's watch beeps, and he finishes his coffee in one gulp. "I have-a to go," he says, apologetically. "We're reading the will later, and I imagine there's going to be a lot of disagreement over who gets all the coins and 1-Ups."
One last question, then: who is Luigi, without Mario?
He pauses for a long time, deep in thought, before finally settling on an answer.
"I'm-a Luigi," he says. "Number one."
***** cringe lol
Gripping words from Luigi there. I wish him the best.
That joke stopped being funny 4 months ago
Gosh I love these, trying hard not to laugh in class
Wow. So we have become a video game tabloid site now huh? Sad to see what this sites articles have become.
This is honestly amazing. Good read.
I hope Colonel Roy Campbell was interviewed on his thoughts on Luigi becoming the older brother
This reminds me of something I would have read in an old Nintendo Power magazine lol. I'm sure this is fun for the kids.
@Tasuki there have literally only been 2 and they're all in good fun, no need to be salty it's not like they're going to stop reporting news
Still waiting for Wii U port of Luigi Galaxy 2.
I love this. Humor in games journalism is rarely pulled off well, but this made me laugh.
The only thing dead around here is the horse you keep flogging!
I'm pretty disappointed to see that the writers of Nintendo Life have stooped so low as to pester a celebrity while they're in mourning, simply for clicks. Give the man some space to grieve.
I hope Luigi the best. I can’t imagine what he’s going through right now.
Why are people hating on this? I thought it was funny...
It certainly seems as though Luigi has an awful lot to gain with Mario out of the picture.
Funny, isn't it? Surely just a coincidence...
Stay strong, Luigi. All the best for him, for Peach and Yoshi too
Who is Luigi? I only know Green Mario.
I hate this meme with great passion.
@Tasuki it's for fun, and that's what the category is
It was a nice exclusive, but there were plenty of deeper questions left alone, such as when is he making a move on peach? Will he be able to get through the next Odyssey alone (I’m not sure if his high jump will be enough)? And can he finally shave off that mustache, I feel like that was something Mario was forcing down.
I wish I was dead.
Mario deserved it #ripbozo should have stanned yoongi
I can't imagine what it's like for Luigi. It's good to know he has friends looking out for him though.
@Desrever Very good. I honestly gave me a solid laugh.
@KateGray this is journalism at its finest.
Good stuff. Shame about comments. - if you don’t like don’t read. It was obvious what it was gonna be.
I personally can't believe it's taken until the second one of these for people to scream 'IT'S NOT FUNNY' and throw their toys around. I love these - a real throwback to the magazines of yesteryear, when making the reader laugh took equal billing with reporting the news. Humour's subjective, and they won't all land with me or with anyone. I'm just glad they're happening. Bravo @kategray !
@nessisonett don't you think that was a little too much for a response?
Nevermind what Green Mario thinks! Where do I get that picture of the baby Mario's and the stork??
@Zuljaras Imagine spending time writing an article just for people to scream that it’s not funny and cringey. Why even bother.
So, basically nothing important going on in the world of gaming today?
@nessisonett if you do anything that is for the public be prepared for negative feedback. This is a rule.
The poster you responded to was not even saying insults or something aggressive. But still you decided to insult him.
By your logic when people talk bad about games I like I should tell them how stupid their mothers are?
I just pointed out that it is not cool.
I'm glad a lot of people enjoyed this article in their own way. You are the best.
But I would like to applaud our silent heroes too. People that don't think this is funny and simply chose to skip the article or keep their opinions to themselves. Fair play, you guys.
@nessisonett every time someone says something criticizing any article here you get extra defensive and half of the arguments in the comment section are you against somebody. I know you're not going to do it, but try to chill and let people have different opinions from yours.
@Zach777 It's a bank holiday in the U.K. so the staff are all off. The pieces that have gone live today were scheduled in advance.
@Pat_trick he's been like this for years, getting close to the cringe level of a certain other poster here.
Anyways, on topic: I read that last line exactly as he says it in Mario Kart 64.
And Luigi was always number one in my book!
Edit: @Bobb people are allowed to share their opinion, as long as it does not turn out to be harrassing someone.
Only today did I discover the understated power of the statement "Woo-hoo."; full stop and all.
Finally, Luigi #1!!!
@Pat_trick I think everyone needs to take your advice and chill. This was clearly, obviously intended to be a fun, light-hearted piece and I'm sure @nessisonett isn't alone in being slightly exasperated that there are comments which seem to have missed that. It's supposed to be a bit of fun, and the vast majority of people thankfully take it that way.
@Damo but it is ok for him to post offensive remarks about other posters mother?
@Damo slightly exasperated? Calling someones mother and his own's existence dumb is being slightly exasperated? 😂
@Damo You're right! To be honest even I have been harsher than I should in some comments. Let me take this opportunity to thank you guys for taking these comments (including mine) in stride. A lot of people wouldn't have the patience and professionalism you guys have.
I love this. Sad to see Luigi's state though, hope he can recover soon enough. Also, how did Mario die if he still had 1-ups left? Are we sure this wasn't staged? Maybe, maybe Bowser captured Mario this time! Luigi needs to save his bro! Somebody tell him!
Ah, I see! I wasn’t saying it to be judgy just a little snarky. 😃
Hope you guys all have a good day off!
@Zuljaras I said "everyone"
This was a fun read lol
I wonder if we'll finally start getting Super Luigi games, so far we've only had two Super Luigi games. "New Super Luigi U" exclusive to Nintendo Wii U, and "Super Luigi Bros." which was included in one of the NES Remix games that is also a Wii U exclusive. I imagine Gooigi will remain as the new player 2 now that Luigi has inherited Mario's place as the head of the family, or maybe one of the Toads will get that spot? Perhaps maybe Yellow Toad since he barely has gotten any action since the New Super Mario Bros. games?
Or maybe this will finally be the time for Guissepe to come out to play!
(Google "Regular Guissepe" if you don't know who that is)
@Arkay I completely agree with you. What I'm pointing out is that there are people out there who go unnoticed even though they decided to not contribute with negativity, you see?
The only thing worse than a bad joke is when it's posted almost a week late
Back page reads are 💯 keep them coming
I just can't believe that Mario is really, literally dead. 😭
"Negativity" about the humour aside (while those with more "positive" views openly harass other users in full view of admins for daring to have a different opinion they are equally entitled to express — welcome to the world of ironic hypocrisy that is the internet, I suppose), it is fair to say this "Mario is dead" gag is far more deceased and decomposed than the plumber ever will be, and that is saying something considering he presumably repairs toilets for a living. This is maybe two steps above Chibi "I would really prefer if you'd be quiet" the livestreamer's Iwata funeral. Points can be awarded for effort, though, in all fairness.
@Bobb man tbh in this day and age going unnoticed doesn't sound that bad.
I like the New Yoker's "Talk of the Town" style of the article! Keep 'em coming!
That last sentence left me speechless. Really, congrats to the author, this is awesome! 😂
Sheesh, why so serious? I thought this was a funny read.
@Zach777 You know how a web page works, dont you?... You can just click on the article you are interested on. This is not the only article published today. Anyway, it have much more work and wit put on it than your average game review.
@KillerBOB of course you have to wait a few days before interviewing a mourning brother. Have some respect!
And today at NL somebody gave out some brownies. Please Nintendo announce some new games
The only thing I love more than the media's obsession over the removal of Mario games from the eShop is how much the Nintendo apologists hate it.
Loving the Back Page. It really breaks up the regular news and reviews, which are great, but extra variety is appreciated. More please, Kate!
Shy guy shall step upon the throne and declare himself “mascot of Nintendo” and will get a new solo game every six months for the next 10 years. Also he is added into fortnite and smash as a crossover character
Lol I wonder if link spoke at the funeral in loud grunts and in loud “HYAH!”s
I would gladly ask Squirtle or several other pokemon to take over for Pikachu. I'm sick of that rat getting special treatment. Spread the wealth you rat.
Obviously I'm so sorry for him, but perhaps this'll finally give him the chance to be his own person instead of just going along with whatever Mario's involved in. My best wishes to everyone mourning right now in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Ha ha. Good read again. Well done.
Forget Luigi, that waster, I want to see a game with my Mario Kart favourite in the lead: Koopa Troopa!
I will leave it to Nintendo to decide the type of game for him/her/them but just make it happen!
Wish Luigi the best.
Don't know what to make of this, I guess it's alright 🤷
Mario has nipple so Nintendolife is going to milk this for a long as they can.
BOOOO! DEAD HORSE
I always thought that the brothers' fake Italian accents were annoying and tasteless. Seriously.
Nonetheless, @KateGray, you missed an opportunity to ask a pretty important question. If you're going on a vacation with your brother and a member of the royal family, just how in the world did you end up letting Toad drive the bus???
After reading this i wonder. Why Is the Mario 35/25/etc anniversary counted since year 1985 when Super Mario Bros was released and not 1983 when original Mario Bros for arcades/NES was released ?
The Luigi 30th Anniversary in 2013 was counted since 1983 when MB was released, So why isnt the Mario anniversary counted since that date too.
Does somebody know anything about this ?
@T0biasCZe One title sold, well, slightly better than the other. I'll let you guess which one.
As far as I'm concerned, though, this whole thing is anthropocentric. Donkey Kong was the first and real star. This anti-fur bias is deep-seated...
It's Luigi Time
I F**ING Love you Kate.
Rest in spaghetti, never forgetti. Let’s not forget after the SMB World 3-1 on-stairs koopa troopa-hopping trick, Mario still has like 👑👑7 lives left.
Ever since Luigi would talk about his off-screen side-adventures in the first 2 Paper Mario games as an NPC, I've always wanted a fully-fledged Paper Luigi or Super Luigi RPG game!
I'm thinking of an adventure-RPG (with some light platforming) game featuring the B-tier, lesser heralded members & locations of the Mario universe... Luigi & Daisy exploring her Kingdom of Sarasaland up against Tatanga (Game Boy- Super Mario Land lore), Waluigi, Birdo, Nabbit, King Boo, Captain Toad & others as side characters and/or sub bosses. Maybe some old acquaintances from previous make appearances too like Mallow, Bombette, Professor E. Gadd etc.
Think it could make for a cool game. Luigi needs his own adventure where he steps up and is not a frail scaredy bros.
This was funny!
Was this John Leguizamo?
We could have had a typical obituary but thank you Kate, for going the extra mile.
I extend my sincere condolences and best wishes to Luigi and all those grieving this devastating loss.
We are here for you, big L, whenever you need a hug or a shoulder to cry on.
I think Mario was insecure about his own folic ability and so asked Luigi to mirror him for support. I expect Luigi will return with a mighty beard and flowing locks (after the grieving period, obviously)
"Today on BeatingAdeadHorseLife, we remind you again for the 48th time that some Mario games aren't for sale anymore".
Glorified fan blog. Nothing more.
This horse has been beaten into non-existence.
Now I wanna see Luigi do the scene from Gurren Lagann where Simon is reborn.
"Spin-a on! Who da heck-a do you think you're talkin' to?! LET'SA-GO!!"
Another great Back Page! Thanks, Kate!
I'm glad most people are taking these as they seem to have been intended. For all the others, I don't understand the need to even open the article?
I get if you read a review or other type of write that takes a twist you don't agree with, yea you may want to voice your differing opinion. But for these, there's no surprise in what these articles are about — if you're looking for serious stories/ leaks/ announcements... why are you looking to the Back Page?
Yea definitely not Metacritic
It would have been more effective if the voice affectation was captured correctly but a decent effort.
@KateGray I loved that, made my night. Very entertaining, thank you!
This was hilarious. Bravo.
Very obvious that Luigi, deeply in debt, offed Mario for the insurance money.
A fun read! We need more articles like this on Nintendo Life!
This meme is far passed over flogged...
Yet this was a brilliant read. Bravo 👏
For what it's worth, I always played Super Mario Bros 2 as Luigi.
Luigi sat there for the whole interview complaining and trying to make people feel sorry for him, instead of realizing how fortunate he is to be the brother of such a talented and athletic person. What about the videogame one-hit wonders who completely disappeared from the spotlight after that fifteen minutes of fame? I mean people like Starman from Pro Wrestling (NES), who had to get a normal job after that one game appearance.
@Balladeer I'm with you, really like that NL has done these, makes this site feel a bit more fun, brings back some of the personality of gaming mags. Perhaps some of the commenters are a bit to young to remember Back Pages? Regardless, this was a great send up of those dreary tabloid interviews, and all worth it for that punchline gag: top work @kategray !
Why are people so unhappy about this little article? I honestly find it quite amazing, gave me a good laugh. Keep it going!
Cor, some people are proper humourless bores, eh? This is great fun, firmly in the spirit of NGC/NGamer-esque silliness. Nice one, Kate.
Mario will be resurrected as four separate and unique Marios (one them to be played by Shaquille O’Neil) but then it will be revealed that none of them are actually Marios when the real Mario shows up with holes in his hands and feet and then at some point he’ll shed the red and blue costume for something more dark and gritty and appropriate for brooding atop the rooftops during a torrential downpour. Also, they’ll painstakingly remove his moustache with $100 million dollars worth of CGI.
Well, does the stereotype of someone that plays video games all day; collecting figurines, wall scrolls, steel boxes and other worthless merch carry with it traits such as self awareness and a sense of humour? 😜
@ChrisSchilling hello, Chris! Fancy seeing you here!
Love this article.
Mario is not dead; he's just missing.
This must be joking!
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