Mario battles Wario in Super Mario Land 2.
Mario battles Wario in Super Mario Land 2.

Wario made his debut in Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins, effectively acting as an evil version of Mario. Where Mario acts in a selfless, heroic fashion, Wario is fueled by greed and personal gain. He captures Mario’s castle and turns it into a booby trap-filled fortress. Mario eventually makes his way through his former home and faces Wario himself in a final showdown. Despite Wario’s superior power, Mario prevails and Wario is banished from the castle.

Wario Land Franchise

In Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 however, Wario was now the main character while Mario took a backseat. As a playable character, Wario shares some similar traits with Mario with an impressive jumping ability and a mini-form similar to Mario before he eats a Super Mushroom. But Wario also has some unique abilities. He can utilize his strength to shoulder barge enemies and can also pick them up and throw them. He can acquire different hats which allow Wario to breath fire and even fly for a brief period. In this first adventure, Wario traveled the world to search for treasure and wealth. Along the way, he encounters the Brown Sugar Pirates led by Captain Syrup. After defeating her, Wario gets his hands on her genie and wishes for a castle to rival that of Mario’s. With his wish granted, Wario was now living the life of luxury he always wanted.

Wario's trademark shoulder barge move.
Wario’s trademark shoulder barge move.

This wouldn’t last however, and as Wario settled down in his new home, the Brown Sugar Pirates returned and stole Wario’s treasure stash within his castle. These events set the stage for Wario Land II where Wario would embark on a quest to get his treasure back. This game would introduce a very prominent ability of Wario’s: invulnerability. In this game, Wario has no life bar and can take an infinite amount of damage. Instead, when Wario is hit, he loses some coins. But more importantly, when certain enemies attack Wario, he will transform. Over the course of Wario Land II and Wario Land 3, Wario can turn into a zombie, a vampire bat, a giant snowball, become invisible, inflate like a balloon and much more. Wario would use these status changes to navigate normally inaccessible parts of the level. So in this way, Wario actually needs to be attacked to progress through the game. Perhaps he’s just a glutton for punishment. However, Wario would lose his invincibility in Wario Land 4 and in the Gamecube title Wario World.

The most recent Wario Land title is Wario Land: Shake It! for the Wii, alternatively called The Shake Dimension in Europe and Australia. This is the first Wario Land game on a home console, and it features a distinct art style that is similar to games like Braid, with everything having a very hand-drawn quality.

WarioWare Franchise

Wario as a video game entrepeneur.
Wario as a video game entrepeneur.

In Warioware Mega Microgame$!, Wario becomes a game developer, crafting quick five-second nonsensical ‘microgames’. Several subsequent WarioWare titles followed, taking advantage of the DS’s touch screen and the Wii’s motion-sensing technology.

Wario’s Intro from WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$

Occupation: CEO; Adventurer
Skills: Stupid Strength; Gluttony
Words to Live By: Get rich quick!
A treasure-hungry adventurer, Wario dreams of making a fortune off of video games. He’s even formed his own company. So far, it’s not working out very well.

Other Appearances


Wario is a regular character in the various Mario spinoff games, such as Mario Kart, Mario Tennis and Mario Golf among others. He is always classified as a power character, meaning that in Mario Kart games he has among the highest weight and top speed rating. In Mario Tennis, Wario can hit the ball harder and faster than the weaker characters. Also, the first Mario Tennis game introduced Waluigi, Wario’s brother, giving Wario a doubles partner.

Wario also appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with some bizarre moves such as the ability to fart on opponents. Wario has the power to change into a costumed superhero called ‘Wario-Man’ which greatly increases Wario’s attack power. The costume is engraved with pictures of garlic, confirming what Wario’s favorite food is.

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