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 and the WarioWare. 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.
In mid-1989, early in the Mario franchise's release history, Nintendo released the Game Boy platformer Super Mario Land, in which Mario traveled to a far-off land to rescue Princess Daisy. This gave way to a subseries of handheld platformers; the second game in the series, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, which was released for the Game Boy in late 1992, debuted a new antagonist that resembled a larger, portlier, more thuggish counterpart to Mario, Wario. Wario, originally presented in a more straightforward, villainous light, takes over Mario's castle while Mario is away, then when Mario returns he must go on a quest to collect the six titular coins that are the keys to his castle in order to defeat Wario and reclaim it from him. Wario, for a time, then became a recurring Mario villain. Mario & Wario (a Japan-only release for Super Famicom in 1993) and Wario's Woods (released in the West in December 1995) both featured Wario enacting revenge plots against Mario and his friends. In one of Nintendo's first crossovers with a third-party franchise, Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman, a Game Boy installment of the Hudson Soft franchise Bomberman, the Bomberman must prevent Wario from plundering his home planet.
Wario was then permanently assigned a new role and outlook in the Mario universe, that of a less-malicious anti-hero motivated by a comically insatiable greed. Like Yoshi and his own relevance in the Mario games, Wario forever became part of the collection of recurring Mario side characters that would take part in a variety of Mario games, such as being a selectable racer in Mario Kart, a selectable "board piece" in Mario Party and a major playable character in other Mario spin-off titles, while at the same time beginning to star in his own games.
The "third" game in the Super Mario Land subseries, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, became the first game in the Wario Land series of platforming titles for various platforms, a series which established a style of platforming different from the familiar Mario formula of jumping and bouncing on enemies and focusing more on physical attacks such as running tackles. The scenarios in Wario platforming games typically center around Wario's greed-motivated adventures and the incidental deeds of goodness he commits for others while doing so, such as defeating a more threatening villain in his quest to claim the reward money. Early in his own games, Wario briefly had an equally greedy rival of his own, a female pirate named Captain Syrup, who had only recently made a return appearance in 2008's Wario Land: Shake It! (the most recent Wario-centric platformer) after a decade of absence. The Wario Land series had also spawned sequels.
Starting from 2003, Wario additionally and regularly starred in a more deranged, parodic, borderline scatological series of party games entitled WarioWare, with an all-new cast of bizarre side characters and a very different twist on the established party game formula. In these games, Wario gets the idea to strike it rich by founding his own video game company and getting all of his friends from his home city, Diamond City, to program hundreds of extremely simple games for him. The gameplay itself resembles an extended, rapid barrage of extremely simple "games", each lasting mere seconds and taking no more than one or several appropriately timed button presses to complete ("microgames"), and the number of microgames a player can complete before failing a set number of times is set as their high score. The microgames display a variety of surreal imagery, including Wario having to jump at the right time in order to avoid getting run over by a giant hot dog on wheels, reenactments of classic scenes from old Nintendo games, and successfully guiding a finger into a nostril. Different installments of the series for different platforms have featured their own, unique twists to the gameplay dependent on the hardware of the console itself.
Wario first became playable in 2008's Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In the Super Smash Bros. series, the WarioWare sub-series is recognized as Wario's "home franchise", separately categorized from the Mario series in a similar fashion to Yoshi and Donkey Kong.
Wario was not recognized as a distinctive universe in Super Smash Bros. Melee, as there were no playable characters nor stages based on the franchise. However, there were trophies for Wario and the Bucket. In addition, one of Mario's alternate costumes in both Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee is a yellow and purple color scheme based on Wario's attire.
Wario is recognized and treated as a distinctive universe in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It focuses heavily on the WarioWare games due to their extreme popularity.
The Wario universe returns in Super Smash Bros. 4, 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!
Main article: List of SSB4 trophies (WarioWare series)
Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series
Wario debuted in this game and is a playable character in Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4 and his classic outfit in his first appearance is used as one of his alternate costumes. Wario's color scheme is also used as one of Mario's alternate costumes in all of the games.
In Brawl, Wario's forward smash is his signature Dash Attack, which originated from this game. This was removed in Smash 4.
Tiny Wario appears as a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Wario's current short-sleeved shirt, which was first seen in this game is part of his alternate costumes. Also Wario's sprite colors is used as one of his alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Wario, who is playable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, is dressed in his WarioWare outfit, which was first seen in this game. Wario's neutral special, Chomp, is based on a single microgame called Hot Dog Hog. In addition, the stage WarioWare Inc. is based off not only several "Microgames" in this game, but also the pig elevator in this game. Kat & Ana, whose first appearances were in this game, appear as an Assist Trophy together in Brawl and Smash 4. The Wario & Bike and Mona & Moped appear as stickers in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, while five other stickers are from the GameCube port.
Wario's neutral jab, up smash (headbutt), forward throw, forward throw in Brawl (back throw in SSB4), and down throw (Ground Pound), come from this game. The Wario World Symbol appears as a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Wario's custom move, Inhaling Chomp, is loosely based on Hyper Suction from this game as well.
Wario's Final Smash, Wario-Man, originated from this game.
Ashley, a lonely teenage witch who first appears in WarioWare Touched!, is an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and has a theme song from WarioWare: Touched! that was remade specifically for Brawl. Various character appear as stickers in Super Smash Bros. Brawl depicting their artwork for this game. Two of the microgames appear (slightly altered) in Wario's home stage, WarioWare, Inc. and Gamer.
All of the voice samples of Assist Trophy Kat & Ana and of Wario's responses in the WarioWare, Inc. stage are lifted directly from this game. Three stickers are from this game.
Wario's crawling animation and Ruins's theme are found in this game.
Gamer, a minigame in Game & Wario, appears as an stage in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Additionally, 5-volt reprises her role as in Game & Wario.
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