Luigi (ルイージ, Luigi) is a major character in the Mario series, and Mario's younger twin brother and sidekick. Initially debuting in Mario Bros. as a palette swap of Mario, Luigi's appearance and personality have developed greatly since then, and he has effectively become the deuteragonist of their home series. As a member of the "perfect-attendance crew", Luigi has been featured as a playable character throughout the Super Smash Bros. series.
Two years after his brother, Mario, made his debut in the widely acclaimed classic Donkey Kong, Luigi made his own debut in Mario Bros. for the arcade as the character that the second player would control. However, Luigi's appearance was merely a palette swap of Mario's, with his attire being colored green instead of red, and his abilities being identical to Mario's. Luigi was named after a pizza parlor called "Mario & Luigi's", which was located near Nintendo of America's headquarters. Coincidentally, his name further referenced his status as a palette swap because of it sounding like the Japanese word 「類似」 (ruiji), which means "similar".
Luigi would then once again be featured in the widely acclaimed classic Super Mario Bros. for the NES, which saw the two brothers traveling through the Mushroom Kingdom for the first time to rescue Princess Toadstool from the evil Koopa King, Bowser. Here, Luigi was clad in a green shirt, white overalls and white hat contrasted to his usual green color scheme. In Super Mario Bros. 2 (both the American and Japanese versions), he would be established as actually having superior jumping prowess compared to Mario, but having worse traction. However, the American version did establish that Luigi was both taller and thinner than his older brother. In Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, Luigi is mechanically identical to Mario, with the only difference between them being their color schemes.
As Mario appeared in more and more games over the years, Luigi's relevance waned in response, so much so that he was actually left out of some games entirely. While he appeared as the solo playable character in Mario is Missing!, this game was an edutainment-based spin-off instead of a part of the main Mario games. The most notable instance was Luigi's complete absence in the widely acclaimed classic Super Mario 64, although he did appear in the Nintendo DS remake of Super Mario 64 as a playable character alongside Yoshi and Wario.
After these absences, Luigi saw increased attention when he was included in Super Smash Bros. and he also gained his own evil counterpart named Waluigi in Mario Tennis a year later and following that, he garnered the spotlight in his own game, Luigi's Mansion. Although Luigi did not appear in Super Mario Sunshine, Nintendo has nevertheless made a more conscious effort to include him in more games, playable or otherwise; he has starred alongside Mario in the Mario & Luigi series, and became a playable character in Super Paper Mario after appearing as a non-playable character in the first two Paper Mario games. Luigi also notably appeared as a playable character in Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, albeit under certain requirements.
However, Luigi's relevance increased considerably thanks to the announcement of the Year of Luigi, which was announced on February 14, 2013 and commemorated the 30th anniversary of his debut in Mario Bros. Various games and collectables focusing on Luigi were released, with two of the games, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, further developing his character. Dark Moon saw him both develop a slightly more courageous attitude, save Mario yet again, and resulted in King Boo become his full-fledged archenemy. Dream Team further cemented the deep bond between the Mario Bros., and even saw Luigi rise to the occasion against Bowser, which resulted in his critics, such as Starlow, coming to view him as Mario's equal.
Aside from his character development, Luigi's abilities were also highlighted during the Year of Luigi. New Super Luigi U notably lacked Mario and instead focused on Luigi's unique traits, such as his slippery traction and high jumps. Dr. Luigi marked his debut as a doctor like his brother before him, and saw him utilize unique L-shaped Megavitamins. Although the Year of Luigi officially concluded on March 18, 2014, one final Year of Luigi game, Super Luigi Bros., was released a little over a month later as a part of NES Remix 2. Like Super Mario 3D World's Luigi Bros., Super Luigi Bros. is a modified emulation of Super Mario Bros., but noticeably differs by retaining Luigi's higher jumps and sporting mirrored versions of every level.
In Super Smash Bros.
As a playable character
Main article: Luigi (SSB)
Luigi's first appearance in a fighting game is in Super Smash Bros., where he appears as one of the four secret playable characters. His appearance is based on Super Mario World. His voice clips are a higher pitched version of Mario's voice clips from Super Mario 64 and his overalls are colored violet instead of blue. He can be unlocked after completing the Target Test with all of the original 8 playable characters. Luigi's abilities are almost identical to Mario's, but with a few differences. His neutral special move is also a Fireball, except colored green rather than red, and is not affected by gravity like Mario's. His up special move is also the Super Jump Punch, but it deals damage in a vastly different way: it deals only 1% if the hit is indirect, but it can deal up to 25% if the hit is direct. Lastly, his down special move is the Luigi Cyclone: it is is similar to the Mario Tornado, but instead consists of two hits and that each launch the opponent away from Luigi. In addition, Luigi is notably the only character in the game whose taunt can damage opponents.
Largely due to his floatiness and awkward physics, Luigi is currently ranked 12th on the tier list, placing him in the C tier and at the bottom of the list.
Luigi's in-game character description reads:
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
As a playable character
Main article: Luigi (SSBM)
Luigi returns in Melee as a secret character. His appearance is still based on his appearance in Mario Kart 64. His voice clips are still a higher pitched version of Mario's voice clips from Super Mario 64 like in the previous game. His overalls were changed to a navy blue color rather than violet. He can be unlocked in Adventure Mode by finishing the first stage with the number 2 in the timer, which will cause Luigi to take Mario's place in the subsequent battle, or by playing 800 VS matches. Finishing the first stage with the number 2 in the timer may be a reference to the fact that Luigi has always been considered second to Mario. Luigi's side special move gives him a unique ability, the Green Missile. Luigi charges up, and when this is finished, launches himself forward as though he were a missile (hence the title). This can be used as a recovery move along with his Super Jump Punch.
Due to his moveset and mobility being noticeably improved and him benefiting from Melee's game physics, Luigi is currently ranked 13th on the tier list, placing him in the D tier and directly in middle of the list.
As a playable character, Luigi is featured on three trophies - his normal trophy, acquired by beating Classic mode with Luigi on any difficulty, and "Smash Red" and "Smash Blue" trophies won by beating Adventure and All-Star modes, respectively - as well as a fourth, styled after his appearance in the GameCube launch title Luigi's Mansion.
His normal and "Vacuum Luigi" trophies read as follows:
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Main article: Luigi (SSBB)
Luigi is once again an unlockable character and can be unlocked by playing 22 VS matches, completing Classic mode, or by getting Luigi to join the party in Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary. The main difference between Luigi now and his Melee appearance is his Final Smash, the unorthodox Negative Zone. His appearance is based on his current appearance in the later Mario games, such as Luigi's Mansion and Mario Party 4. He has his own unique voice clips instead of having Mario's voice clips sped up from the last two SSB games.
Despite having been buffed overall, the loss of wavedashing significantly harmed Luigi. As a result, he is currently ranked 28th on the tier list, placing him in the E tier.
In Super Smash Bros. 4
Main article: Luigi (SSB4)
Luigi appears in Super Smash Bros. 4 as a playable character, in which he was the second character after Captain Olimar to be confirmed to return after E3 2013. SSB4 is also the first installment of the series to announce Luigi as a playable character before release and, unlike in the previous three installments, he is now a starter character. Like Mario, his design is based off his appearance in the current generation of Mario games, such as Super Mario 3D Land, Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8.
Luigi has been buffed in the transition from Brawl to SSB4. His moveset is notable for having among the highest levels of utility and combo potential in the game, while the retention of his overall fast attack speed grants him a strongly defensive playstyle, especially in the air. Three of Luigi's four special moves can aid his recovery, making for an unpredictable and long-distanced recovery. He also possesses one of the best grab games out of the entire cast due to his grabs' fast speeds, his back throw being a viable KOing option, and his down throw possessing outstanding combo potential. However, Luigi retains his slow mobility, especially while airborne, which also hinders his recovery's decent variability. His traction is once again the lowest among the cast despite having been marginally heightened, while update 1.1.1 altered the knockback of his down throw, which results in it no longer guaranteeing combos at high percentages.
Despite his flaws, Luigi overall remains a force to be reckoned with, and he has achieved fairly strong tournament representation and results throughout SSB4's lifespan. As a result, he is currently ranked 26th on the tier list, which places him in the C tier and is his best tier placement to date.
Tanooki Mario & Kitsune Luigi
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