The Wario universe (ワリオ, Wario) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties concerning the subfranchise of the world-famous Mario game franchise centered on series anti-hero Wario. Wario's franchise is split into two major subseries, the Wario Land series and the WarioWare series. Wario Land is a platformer series with cartoon mayhem and bizarre humor, a more deranged take on the normally cheery and kid-friendly Mario archetype; WarioWare is a collection of many fast-paced and quirky microgames. Its appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series have thus far mostly adhered to the WarioWare series.
Mario began a subseries of platformers on Game Boy called Super Mario Land, of which its first entry depicted Mario leaving his personal island and castle to rescue the newly debuted character Princess Daisy from an alien entity named Tatanga. The sequel, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, was the debut for the character Wario, who served as an "evil twin" to Mario and an antagonist figure who was the final boss; he took over Mario's castle and island for himself while Mario was away, and it's up to the latter to oust him. Wario made several other appearances as a villain in Mario games, including a Japan-only Super Famicom game named Mario and Wario where Wario would drop a bucket on the heads of either Mario, Peach, or Yoshi from his airplane, and it is up to a fairy named Wanda to help them to level exits, and in the puzzle game Wario's Woods, Wario launches an assault on the Mushroom Kingdom, forcing Toad, Wanda, and Birdo to stop him.
After being established in several games as an outright villain in the Mario universe, Wario was from then on portrayed in a less malicious anti-hero light, becoming the protagonist of his own games, most of which were platformers at first, hence establishing somewhat of a subfranchise of Mario. The first of these games was Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, where the antagonist party, the Brown Sugar Pirates led by a woman named Captain Syrup, steals a Peach statue from Mario, and Mario is trying to retrieve it; as Wario, the player must steal it for himself before that happens. After a Virtual Boy Wario adventure named Wario Land sees Wario trying to find his way out of a giant cave while collecting money, the Game Boy Color's Wario Land II continues the rivalry between Wario and Captain Syrup as they try to steal loot from each other. In Game Boy Color's Wario Land 3, Wario is now trapped in a Music Box World and must battle Rudy the Clown, and in Wario Land 4 for Game Boy Advance Wario journeys through a pyramid he hears is packed with treasure (as a side note, early in the game Wario encounters Princess Game & Watch, a character similar to Mr. Game and Watch; the game was released after Super Smash Bros. Melee.) All of these games were some variant of Wario trying to get his hands on material riches.
The Wario name eventually suddenly became synonymous with a form of off-kilter mini-gaming unique for its time. In 2003, the first of a new series called WarioWare was released for Game Boy Advance, and it received many outstanding reviews and awards for its attempt at a new genre; a collection of over 200 outrageously themed timed micro-games, games short and small enough that most of them require a single timed button press or two, thrown at the player in rapid succession with the barest minimum of instructions popping up on screen each time ("Jump!" or "Haze!" as examples). The games thematically ranged from anywhere between helping maidens, nose-sucking strands of snot, and avoiding giant hot dogs on wheels, to avoiding obstacles in the original F-Zero or battling Mother Brain in the original Metroid. The game also introduced a diverse cast of strictly Wario characters not yet seen in any standard Mario game. In the years to come, new WarioWare games were produced for GameCube (as a port of the Game Boy Advance game), the Game Boy Advance (WarioWare Twisted!, which used a motion sensor to make turning the Game Boy Advance around a gameplay maneuver), Nintendo DS (WarioWare Touched!, making heavy use of the DS' features), and most recently the Wii (WarioWare: Smooth Moves). All these games have been considered staples of gaming for their respective systems.
Perhaps as a result of the new respect for the Wario franchise as a mini-game-proficient game series, new standard platforming games released in between have received some negative press, including Wario World for GameCube for its ease and length, and Wario: Master of Disguise for DS for standard design uninspiring in comparison to the previous Wario Land games, as well as a lot of scatological humor. But Wario himself is considered a "regular" in the standard Mario universe nonetheless, in many games such as the Mario Sports games and Mario Kart alongside a second "evil twin" character named Waluigi, and Wario and other Wario properties have featured in 2008's Wii fighting game Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
List of games in Wario franchise
- Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (1994, Game Boy)
- Wario Land II (1998, Game Boy)
- Wario Land 3 (2000, Game Boy Color)
- Wario Land 4 (2001, Game Boy Advance)
- Wario World (2003, Nintendo GameCube)
- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega MicroGame$! (2003, Game Boy Advance)
- WarioWare: Twisted! (2004, Game Boy Advance)
- WarioWare: Touched! (2004, Nintendo DS)
- WarioWare: Smooth Moves! (2006, Nintendo Wii)
- Wario: Master of Disguise (2007, Nintendo DS)
- WarioWare: Snapped! (2008, Nintendo DS)
- WarioWare D.I.Y. (2009, Nintendo DS)
- Wario Land: Shake It! (2010, Nintendo Wii)
- Game & Wario (2013, Nintendo Wii U)
- WarioWare Gold (2018, Nintendo 3DS)
Wario was originally supposed to be an unlockable character in the game considering a Wario Land Universe, but was cut replaced by Dr. Mario instead as he was not recognized as a distinctive universe in Super Smash Bros. Melee due to Nintendo working on Wario Land 4 in which Nintendo needed to have Wario as the lead character for their game, and it was not treated as one either, for there were no playable characters and stages based on the franchise. There was a trophy for Wario however, and the Bucket trophy may be considered a Wario property in Melee as well. In addition, one of Mario's alternate color swap costumes in both SSB and SSBM is a yellow and purple color scheme matching the standard Wario attire seen on Wario's trophy.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Wario is finally recognized and treated as a distinctive universe in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It focuses heavily on the Wario Ware games due to their extreme popularity.
- Wario: The franchise's first playable character. Wario has been the only Wario property seen in the trailers for Brawl. Wario is dressed in his biker jacket as he is seen in the WarioWare series. However, an update showed that Wario has the option of utilizing his original, plumber overalls that appeared in the Mario series and the Wario Land series. The developers have stated that Wario, in an attempt to embody the Wario series' off-kilter and sometimes scatological nature, can build up "gas" over the time of the match, and he is able to use it as a form of atomic flatulence.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), Wario shares a column with fellow Mario side series characters Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, and Yoshi.
- Kat & Ana: These twin ninja kindergarteners use their ninja skills and slash in multiple "X" formations on the stage, damaging any foes that make contact with their attack. This is the only Assist Trophy originating from one of the Mario sub-series.
- WarioWare, Inc.: Occasionally, the stage takes the player from the main "elevator" into a microgame, which they can complete to obtain some sort of award. The microgames are able to damage characters, as a screen shot depicting a "Dodge the rain" game shows the characters in the rain taking non-flinching damage.
- WarioWare, Inc. - A slight alteration of the main menu theme from the original WarioWare, Inc.: Mega MicroGame$!, as well as the title screen from the same game. It is the theme of the WarioWare stage.
- WarioWare, Inc. Medley - A medley of a large number of songs heard in the first title of the series, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega MicroGame$!, including the opening theme, Wario's theme, as well as Dribble & Spitz's theme among others. It is used on the WarioWare stage. This song is also played during Wario's Classic Mode credits.
- Ashley's Theme - A big band version of the vocal theme song of Ashley in WarioWare Touched! It is used on the WarioWare stage.
- Ashley's Theme (JP) - The same as the above song, but with Japanese lyrics. It is used on the WarioWare stage.
- Mike's Song - A 50's rock-and-roll version of the vocal theme song of Mike in WarioWare Touched! It is used on the WarioWare stage.
- Mike's Song (JP) - The same as the above song, but with Japanese lyrics. It is used on the WarioWare stage.
- Mona Pizza's Song - A fully redone version of the vocal theme song of Mona in WarioWare Twisted! It is used on the WarioWare stage.
- Mona Pizza's Song (JP) - The same as the above song, but with Japanese lyrics. It is used on the WarioWare stage.
- Wario's victory theme - Shares similarities to many Wario games, featuring musical qualities from both the WarioWare series and the Wario platforming series. It would be implemented into the first stage music for the game Wario Land: Shake It!.
- Wario (multiple)
- Dr. Crygor
- Jimmy T
- Tiny Wario
- Wario & Bike
- Wario World Symbol
- Young Cricket
The Wario universe returns in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, represented by one character. With the removal of Wario's shoulder charge forward smash, the Wario Land series is no longer referenced outside of one track from Wario Land: Shake It!
- Wario: Wario returns as a playable character. Unlike in Brawl, where he was a starter, Wario is now unlockable in this game. Wario is slightly larger and has more fluid animations. He now has eight alternate costumes as opposed to twelve in Brawl.
- Kat & Ana: These twin ninja kindergarteners return to use their ninja skills and slash in multiple "X" formations on the stage, damaging any foes that make contact with their attack. They now sport their design from Game & Wario.
- Ashley: A character from the Wario Ware games has been confirmed as a new Assist Trophy. When summoned, she will create a purple cloud, which causes a variety of random effects to occur.
Wii U Version
- Gamer: A new stage based on the minigame Gamer from Game & Wario. The stage takes place on 9-Volt's desk, where his mother 5-Volt acts as a stage hazard. When 5-Volt looks at the fighters, a beam of light is sent to them and damages them for 20% with high knockback. Fighters can avoid this by hiding behind objects. She can appear from the doorway, window, TV, or, if the stage is set a certain way she will appear from a gaming pad or picture from an easel. Fake-outs can also appear. The layout of the stage changes each time the stage is played.
- WarioWare, Inc.: Taken directly out from Brawl. It plays on WarioWare, Inc. in the 3DS version and on Gamer in the Wii U version.
- WarioWare, Inc. Medley: Taken directly out from Brawl. This medley plays on the Gamer stage in the Wii U version.
- Ashley's Song (JP): Taken directly from Brawl. It plays on WarioWare, Inc. in the 3DS version of the Japanese release and on Gamer in the Wii U version of all releases.
- Ashley's Song: Taken directly from Brawl. It plays on WarioWare, Inc. as an alternate track in the 3DS version of the English release and on Gamer in the Wii U version of all releases.
- Ashley's Song JP Ver.2 A new remix of Ashley's song. This version has a tone similar to the original source material. This song is only found in the Japanese versions of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and plays on the Gamer stage.
- Ruins (Wario Land: Shake It!): A song from Wario Land: Shake It! It appears in the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: 50-Fact Extravaganza during the paint portion. It plays on Gamer.
- Gamer: This song comes directly from the minigame Gamer from Game & Wario. It is an ominous tune that plays on the television screen while the player is trying to play microgames on the Wii U Gamepad. This song plays on the Gamer stage.
Wii U Version
Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!
Wario, who is playable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, is dressed in his WarioWare outfit, which was first seen in this game. In addition, the stage WarioWare is based off not only several "Microgame" seen in this game, but also the pig elevator in this game.
Ten of the fast-paced microgames here appear (slightly altered) in Wario's home stage, WarioWare, Inc. Also, Wario's Final Smash, Wario-Man, originating from Warioware: Twisted!, appeared in this game.
Ashley, a lonely teenage witch who first appears in Touched, has a theme song from this game that was remade specifically for Brawl.
WarioWare: Smooth Moves
All of the voice samples of Assist Trophy Kat & Ana, as well as Wario's responses in the WarioWare, Inc. stage are lifted directly from this game.