A bulb of garlic consumed by any other villain is just as pungent, as this week’s editorial focuses on Mario’s inverted friend Wario. Starting in 1994 with Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Wario has been the playable star of legends with a knack for destroying things thanks to his near crippling obesity and penchant for taking coins. So, in order to celebrate his…existence, this editorial will cover the five main games in the “Wario Land” franchise while conveniently leaving out Virtual Boy Wario Land which was admittedly one of the most favorably viewed games on the Virtual Boy and led to the platforming technique of moving between foreground and background which has been seen as an inspiration for games such as Donkey Kong Country Returns and Mutant Mudds. Other than that, the game does not exist and has never existed for the sake of the visual integrity of readers.
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 marked the start of Wario’s playability in Nintendo video games as his previous appearance in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins saw him as an antagonist. Instead of merely jumping on enemies like his right-side up rival, Wario crashes into them with all his might and throws them around like projectiles when he it fits his need. Like Mario, Wario also has power-ups he can access in order to aid his quest to reclaim his lost treasures such by becoming Bull Wario, Dragon Wario, or even Jet Wario. After suffering a crushing defeat and loss of home in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins at the hands of Mario, Wario takes it upon himself to steal a golden statue of Princess Peach from Captain Syrup and her Brown Sugar Pirates (also known as the Black Sugar Gang in the EU translation) in order to sell it so he can buy himself a castle. This involves the exploration of Kitchen Island and the seven main areas inside of it starting at Rice Beach and ending in none other than Syrup Castle. After defeating Captain Syrup, Wario is rewarded at the end of the game with a home that ranges from a literal planetoid to a birdhouse depending on how many coins and treasures the player collected throughout their adventure. Unfortunately though, once the game is completed Mario does end up stealing the statue. Yikes!
Wario Land II starts off in Wario Castle (the canon ending of its predecessor) after his treasures are stolen by members Pirate Syrup’s Black Sugar Gang. To make matters worse, the Pirate Gooms also start chaos in Wario Castle by installing a comically large alarm clock, leaving a insanely large faucet running to flood the castle, and they also leave a giant snake in his cellar. Seeing as this is no match for the yellow monstrosity that is Wario, he ventures forth and breaks into Syrup Castle after exploring the SS Tea Cup, finding his way out of the Maze Woods, and by making sure the boys are back in In Town (that’s the name of the chapter, Adeki just won a Pulitzer for that joke). As a departure from the previous game, Wario Land II gives players the ability to replay certain stages after completing the game for the first time and also has the inclusion of branching storylines through secret exit which also alter the stage’s goals and the chapters being played. Although most endings involve Wario getting his treasures back and coming home safely, there is only one true ending to the game that involves Wario finding a secret cave used by the Brown Sugar Pirates. After Captain Syrup is successful defeated by the color-clashing clod, he returns home with vast riches in hand. Although he is mysteriously followed by a Giant Spear Man for a reason that is still unbeknownst to all gaming culture. To exact revenge? To romance Wario as a ways of indirectly taking back Captain Syrup’s riches? The world may never know.
Wario Land 3 sees the return of Wario and his hijinks as he is accidentally sucked into a music box and tasked by a mysterious being to return the five music boxes of that world to him in order to restore his future power to thwart the plans of an evil being. Of course, Wario is selfish by nature and does not immediately take the job, but once the figure tells Wario he can keep and treasures that he finds in the music box world Wario is gung-ho to help. Wario Land 3 also further establishes the puzzle platforming aspect of the “Wario Land” franchise as the game amount of exploration coupled with a day/night cycle that opens and closes certain areas in specific stages. There are also four color coded treasure chests in each stage that each have a corresponding key, one the key is found and used on the treasure chest Wario is able to keep the treasure inside whether it be riches or a new ability to use. This means that to 100% the game each stage must be completed at least four times in order to open each treasure chest. In the end, Wario finds all five music boxes and returns them to the hidden figure only to find out that it was Rudy the Clown all along! Yes, the final boss of the game is in fact an evil clown literally named Rudy the Clown and it turns out that the five music boxes hidden in the world were used to seal away his powers, but before his powers were diminished he turned all the townspeople into monsters. Once Rudy is defeated at the hands of the terrible treasure hunter, all the townspeople are reverted to normal and thank Wario for his service. They allow Wario to keep his riches and let him return to the world from whence he came.
Wario Land 4 finds Wario on the mysterious new platform known as the Game Boy Advance as he searches for a Legendary Treasure located in the Golden Pyramid. This Legendary Treasure is actually compromised of four pieces being a crown, a pair of earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet. Of course, nothing is ever easy for Wario and once he finds himself in the Golden Pyramid he ends up on a quest to help Princess Shokora who was transformed into a black cat that follows Wario during his quest by the evil Golden Diva. After landing in the Golden Pyramid, Wario is forced to clear his way through multiple passages, each one ending with a boss battle that is equipped with one quarter of the Legendary Treasure. Once all of these bosses are defeated, the path to the Inner Pyramid is revealed and Wario is forced to fight the Golden Diva who swallows Princess Shokora in her cat form, and is equipped with all four pieces of the Legendary Treasure at once. Once the Golden Diva is defeated Wario and the cat leave the Golden Pyramid only for the cat to magically transform into Princess Shokora in front of Wario’s eyes. As she leaves with the Legendary Treasure, whisked away by four angels, Wario is dumbfounded and turns back home in order to prepare for his next adventure.
After a seven year absence from the “Wario Land” franchise, Wario returns on the Nintendo Wii in Wario Land: Shake It where he shakes his way to enormous riches. Wario Land: Shake It also sees the return of Captain Syrup who finds a world inside an Ancient Globe which is home to the Shake King who is armed with a Bottomless Coin Sack and has kidnapped all but one of the members of the Merfle tribe. Seeing the world as being too much of a challenge, Captain Syrup brings the Ancient Globe to Wario who gladly takes part in the adventure after the promise of unlimited riches. Wario then has to fight his way through the Shake Dimension by going from continent to continent in order to save the kidnapped members of the Merfle tribe. Each continent is compromised of stages, each one containing three treasures, although getting to 100% completion does not lead to a different ending as Wario defeats the Shake King no matter what. However, once Wario is back in his own dimension Captain Syrup double crosses Wario and steals the Bottomless Coin Sack for her own gain, leaving Wario humiliated and defeated. But what will Wario do now that he has been stolen from by Captain Syrup yet again? Only time will tell.
So that is it for an editorial chock-full of facts about the “Wario Land” franchise. Did you know all of this already? Do you enjoy watching Adeki be terrible at these games? Do you have suggestions for future editorials? Whatever the case may be, make sure to leave a comment below and let us know what you think!