It may look like I’m running out of ideas… Eh, I don't care.
Everyone who’s spent even a bit on this site reading my reviews knows that I’m a huge fan of the Mario series, despite its flaws. And like any work of fiction that lasts longer than 30 years, this franchise has accumulated a large cast of characters, be they mooks, bosses, major villains, allies, minor characters… and some actually return multiple times afterwards. Gee, it’s like they were good enough to come back! What’s more, this series has more spin-offs than you can shake a stick at, so fan favorites get to return as playable characters and join the karting/golfing/[…]/partying fun!
For this list, I’m counting down my 12 favorite secondary Mario characters. To fit the list, the character must not be a main character of the series (thus ruling out Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser, and now Toad thanks to Treasure Tracker), must not have their own spin-off franchise (just ruling out Wario, Yoshi and DK), and must have appeared in at least three games, spinoffs included (though appearances in mainline platformer and RPG games kinda helps). One exception for this is the RPG characters; since there are two main RPG Mario series (Mario&Luigi, and Paper Mario), with 5 games each (both RPG series crossed over in the recent Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam), a character from those RPGs can be on this list by appearing at least twice in its series. As an example, I noticed the Mario and Luigi series had more continuity between titles than the Paper Mario series.
Let’s kick off this list with…
12. Broque Monsieur and Madame
|Ironic that a French-like|
character would be a tête carrée...
11. The Shroobs
|"Bwaaaaaaah! I mean... EXTERMINATE!"|
10. Queen Rosalina
I’ll admit it right away, I see Rosalina as a fad character, in that as soon as she appeared she turned out to be popular, so now Nintendo puts her everywhere to cash in on her popularity. I am not a fan of how she shows up everywhere now, despite other secondary characters of the series having appeared long before her and still getting little to no recognition. Still, I can see why Rosalina is liked. A Queen with magical powers traveling across the universe, friend of cosmic entities, with a sad backstory and many, many secrets. I see the appeal of her character, though I still think Rosalina is getting too much focus. But hey, if you like her, good for you. I don't really hate her, either; after all, she has a spot on this list, doesn't she?
|Lucky old guy, he even got his|
own Smash trophy!
|Don't let the pink fool you;|
she's better than you think.
7. Professor Elvin Gadd
|His voice is also a bit creepy. He fits right in|
with everything else in Luigi's Mansion.
6. Kamek and Kammy Koopa
|The brains behind...|
5. King Boo
I can't help but like this picture. Way to make aMario character look threatening.
4. Bowser Jr.
|Look, he even has his own little|
cute Koopa clown car! That's, like,
totally necessary on him! He wouldn't
be able to fight in Smash without it!
3. Princess Daisy
The “spunky princess” trope has been used over and over, but in the Mario series, it’s a lot of fun to see Princess Daisy in action. Having been kidnapped only once (in Super Mario Land) and never bothered ever again afterwards, she happily joined the heroes in most, if not all, of the spin-off series. I like her character despite her voice, despite her lack of presence in Mario games outside of spin-offs (seriously, the Mario RPGs are missing a great deal in not including Sarasaland at least once…), but I like her mostly as Luigi’s potential love interest, a relationship implied in a few sport titles but never outright stated, more like a rumor. And the Internet is like a small village: As soon as a rumor starts, everybody takes it and rolls with it, for better or for worse. Though it was for the better this time around. Daisy is a good pick in many sport games, and she’s a good foil to Peach (the self-titled Princess of kidnappings) and Rosalina (the mighty cosmic force). She’s also an important character in the Game Boy comics about Super Mario Land, where she’s under Tatanga’s grip but manages to make him bend to her will every time, and in the movie, where she’s… um… well… you know what, let’s not mention that movie again. (Though it did help cement the idea of a Luigi/Daisy pairing.)
|When it comes to swirl glasses, he was the OG. Sorry Dr.|
Insano, you are not the first one.
The lean, mean, purple machine takes the top of this list. Waluigi is a polarizing character, as he never made an appearance in a main series game (not even a cameo), but has appeared countless times in spin-off games. Waluigi is merely an evil copy of Luigi, a brother to Wario (whom he aids in his evil plans from time to time), a joke first, a relevant character second. He does have an amazing course in Mario Kart DS: his Pinball Machine. He’s like the lost Dalton cousin. (He does look like the Daltons…) Also, don’t be fooled, this silly guy packs some crazy dance moves, some that are perfectly fine for the category of games he appears in, others… not so much.
He’s a beast on many a sport field (ask Mario Sports Mix), you could even say he’s Overpowered in that game. In games like Mario Super Sluggers, his brother and he attempt to crash the party with Bullet Bills. He is also the first main antagonist of Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, where he plans to rule over the land with the help of legendary artifacts called the Music Keys. He displays the spirit of a trickster here, as well as an affinity for explosives (and sadly his spot as antagonist gets stolen by Bowser). Waluigi has had other moments to shine, of course, but Nintendo never seems to know what to do with him, and that’s despite the massive fandom and support the character has, even being desired as a playable character in a Smash game instead of just being an Assist trophy. Personally, I’m campaigning for a future Mario and Luigi title where the Wario brothers are playable alongside the Mario brothers. This could be an interesting dynamic. Long story short, I’d like to have more Waluigi in my daily dose of Mario gaming.
Well, there you go. This is my list. You’re free to agree or disagree with any of the choices on here… and if you do disagree, I’d like to hear why. Feel free to leave a comment. Next week, the first actual movie review of the year. And I have a bad feeling about that one…