What should Nintendo do with some of its less prominent characters?

I won’t leave you guessing. I’ll state the names right off the bat: Daisy, Wario, Waluigi, and most recently, Nabbit.

Only one of these characters has starred in their own games so far. Their reception has ranged from relatively warm to ice cold. Their appearances are varied in frequency. It’s reasonable to say that none of them have truly come of their own yet.

Let’s start with Princess Daisy, the oldest of these characters. Believe it or not, Daisy dates back to 1989. She plays the role in the Game Boy game Super Mario Land that we’re so used to seeing Princess Peach play – Mario has to rescue her (in this case from the alien invader Tatanga). In 1991 Daisy appears in NES Open Tournament Golf as a non-playable character. She largely disappeared for 9 years before emerging as a playable character in Mario Tennis for Nintendo 64 in 2000. Since then she’s been a recurring playable character in spin-off series like Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mario Kart, and Mario Party. She’s made playable and non-playable appearances in several other games. She’s become a somewhat recognizable face, but many people couldn’t name that face and probably forget she exists when they’re not seeing her in a game. Her character hasn’t gotten over the hump yet. At least she’s generally well-liked. A handful would love to see her get more popularity, and the masses are indifferent at worst. You won’t find a lot of Daisy “haters.” That’s for sure.

princess_daisy_brawl_by_dannyrobson

What will come of Daisy? She’s in a prime position to take on a more vital role. Nobody hates Daisy. Enough Nintendo fans know her that a greater role  would be greeted with enthusiasm. On the other hand, she’s still untried enough that there’s a certain mystery factor about her. If she took on a greater role, more casual fans would  be intrigued because she still seems new. Daisy’s character has been underutilized. We know she’s supposed to be a tomboy. We know there’s a little chemistry between her and Luigi. Why not build on that? With 2013 being the Year of Luigi, it would have been the perfect time to tag Daisy as “Luigi’s princess.” With Mario absent Luigi has to rescue Peach from Bowser in New Super Luigi U. Why couldn’t Luigi could have rescued Daisy for a change? The least Nintendo could have done was include her as Mario’s replacement in multi-player. Or, maybe Daisy could star as a hero in her own game. That could spurn the interest of the ever-growing female gamer demographic. It would be nice to see a girl as the hero rather than the damsel in distress for a change. I see Daisy as a likable character with loads of untapped potential.

Wario has also been around far longer than people realize. With Daisy saved in Super Mario Land, Wario burst onto the scene full-force  in 1992 as Mario’s nemesis in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. Wario has achieved a higher level of notoriety than Daisy to date. In addition to being a mainstay in spin-offs, Wario has starred in a number of his own games. After his days as the villain in Super Mario Land 2, he became the protagonist in the Wario Land Series, of which most installments have been on handhelds. He’s been starring in puzzle games since the 90s. Wario had his heyday in 2003. That’s when he began starring in WarioWare series, a series of microgame games. In 2003 he also starred in the GameCube’s 3D title Wario World. A short but underrated 3D platformer, it never got the acclaim it deserved.

Since then Wario has continued to make appearances in Mario spin-offs and has starred in WarioWare games. It’s mostly accepted that Wario is here to stay, but will he ever be anything more? Other than his WarioWare titles, and 2013 Wii U party game Game & Wario, he hasn’t starred in a Western game since 2003. Wario will continue to hold a certain niche within Nintendo, but will he rise to greater prominence? I for one would love to see him as the hero again like in Wario World. Nintendo could advertise it and build up some hype and see how it fares. The next best thing would be for Wario to appear as an antagonist for Mario more often. It’s a shame that Bowser always steals the show. Wario was a decent villain in the past, so why doesn’t he ever resurface in that role? Mario always rescues Peach from Bowser, but what about a quest to defeat Wario for a change?

Waluigi

Waluigi. The black sheep of the family. A vast majority of gamers see Waluigi as a joke. One might say he’s the Scrappy Doo of video games. Even his name doesn’t ring well. My mom still groans, “Why….” when she sees Waluigi on Mario Kart. He first appeared in 2000 in Mario Tennis. That’s right, his introduction was a random appearance in a spin-off. It seems he was a character created out of necessity. Nintendo was so starving for human characters that not only was Daisy was resurrected for Mario Tennis, but they also coughed up Waluigi. His shaky start doesn’t help matters, making him seem like a half-baked idea. Since then the quirky character has been appearing in spin-offs, and lots of them, but not much else. A few swear by him, but most wish he would just disappear.

My opinion is that it’s time for Waluigi to put up or shut up. I don’t mind Waluigi. I used to dislike him the way everybody else does, but he’s grown on me over time. Give him his own game, and see if it works. Give him a bigger role in someone else’s game. Maybe he could be a major villain for Luigi. Shed some light on the mystery that is Waluigi, and if it doesn’t work, let him fade away. He could always just go upstairs and never come back down like Ritchie’s brother Chuck on Happy Days.  If he disappeared, I doubt many would miss him. I have nothing against the guy now, but I think I’d make it if he ceased to exist. Still, I’m rooting for his success for the time being. If he is going to be here, I’m not satisfied with spin-offs and minimal information as to who this guy is. Depth, please!

The final character is the only one who’s not human. The oddball of the group. The “it.” The x factor. It’s Nabbit. Nabbit is a funky purple rabbit-like creature who likes to “nab” items from toadhouses in New Super Mario Bros. U. I was pretty perplexed but amused when he made his first appearance. The player has to go to the level he runs off to and catch him to get items. In short it’s an acceptable, fun, little addition to the game. I figured Nabbit would stay in that kind of role, but no. Nintendo couldn’t resist.

New Super Luigi U came along. Nintendo said they didn’t want to have 3 toads on the screen at once in multi-player. Mario would be absent, so there had to be a replacement. Who could it be? Maybe Daisy could finally get her big break! Nope. Who replaces Mario? Nintendo said the only logical choice was Nabbit. Yes, Nabbit. How logical. I don’t understand why. In single-player mode Nabbit still plays the same bizarre villain role he does in New Super Mario Bros. U. In multi-player, on the other hand, he’s the hero all of a sudden? Not only is the choice irrational in and of itself, but Nabbit just doesn’t function like a normal character to say the least. It would have been nicer to get a player with comparable attributes to Luigi and the toads. This is why Daisy would have been so welcome. Gosh, even Waluigi could have made some weird appearance as a hero fighting alongside Luigi! There would be some explaining to do, but that would be a good way to make some use out of a character who has yet to come of his own. It could have been an interesting story line to say the least. Luigi’s antithesis teams up with him during the Year of Luigi? Sounds legit. Anybody would have been better than Nabbit. I was hoping Nabbit would just stay in his quirky little niche, but it seems Nintendo has plans for him. I’m hoping against all hope that he doesn’t appear in the next Super Smash Bros. game, and I’d hate for him to end up like the Queen Bee in Mario Kart 7. I’d say Nintendo should let this one fade off while they still can, or at least relegate him to toadhouse nabbing duties.

What do you think should be done with these characters? Would you like to see them get more time in the limelight? Would you like them just to disappear? Who else would you like to see more of? Discuss your opinions!

Thank you, Dry_Bones

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