Luigi Biography

Luigi is a video game character created by Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. He is the taller yet younger brother of Nintendo's official mascot, Mario, and has appeared in games throughout the Mario series. He can also jump higher and run faster than Mario but yet he still is seen as less than his brother. His voice is performed by Charles Martinet, the same actor who provides the voice for Mario, as well as other characters throughout the franchise.

Because of the common reference to him and his brother Mario as the "Mario Brothers," it has been speculated his full name is "Luigi Mario," and in certain non-game sources (comic books and the Super Mario Bros. film), this is the case. However, Nintendo of America stated in the 1980s that neither Mario nor Luigi have last names.

Although he was originally identical to Mario except for a green color theme as opposed to red, Luigi has since developed a personality and style of his own. As technology improved, he evolved into a physically distinct character, taller and thinner than his brother, and a fuller, rounder moustache. Luigi's name was inspired by a pizza parlor near Nintendo of America's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, called "Mario & Luigi's". His name may be a pun on the Japanese word ruiji, meaning "analogous", a play on the fact that his sprite was the same as Mario's in his original

Concept and creation

During the development of Donkey Kong, designer Shigeru Miyamoto had created Mario (then known as "Jumpman") hoping that he would be able to recast the character in a variety of different roles in future games. Miyamoto had been inspired by the game Joust to create a game with a simultaneous two-player mode, which resulted in the creation of the game Mario Bros. and of the Luigi character. Because of software constraints of the time, Luigi's first appearance was a simple palette swap of Mario designed to represent the second player. In accordance with Nintendo's marketing policy of naming and promoting individual characters, Luigi was given a name, but the only definite biographical detail provided for the new character was that he was Mario's brother. Graphically and in terms of gameplay, the characters were completely identical except for their color schemes: Mario wore blue and red while Luigi wore green and black.

Luigi was introduced to a wider audience in Super Mario Bros., functioning again as second-player palette swap of Mario, this time appearing with matching white hat and overalls and a green shirt, to contrast with Mario's red cap and overalls and brown shirt. It wasn't until the Japan-only sequel Super Mario Bros. 2 was released that Luigi began to become distinguished from Mario. In that title, Luigi was a better jumper than Mario though with less accuracy and traction; similar to the character of "Mama" in Miyamoto's Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic of the same era. In 1988, a version of Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic with the graphics altered to represent characters from the Mario franchise was released in the United States as Super Mario Bros. 2, after the Japanese sequel was deemed to be too difficult for American audiences. In this version, the "Mama" character was redesigned as Luigi in his new taller, thinner look, marking the introduction of the new design to English-speaking audiences. Luigi's thinner, taller appearance and color scheme were later adopted in Japan as well, and has since remained consistent in most subsequent promotional art and in-game appearances.

Much like his brother, Luigi's outfit colors have gone through changes. In the original Mario Bros., Luigi was given green overalls, a green hat, and a black shirt, to allow the player not to confuse him with Mario while playing a 2-player game. The NES port of the game changed the color of his shirt and his hat to white. When the original Super Mario Bros. was released, his wore a green shirt over white overalls, the opposite of his present fire flower costume; however, when touching a fire flower , he would don a red shirt, using the same palette as Mario, which may make players confuse him with Mario. This was fixed in Super Mario Bros. Deluxe as the Fire Luigi sprite now uses the Super Luigi sprite of the original and the Super Luigi and normal Luigi sprites were changed to being green overalls over a brown shirt. It was not until Super Mario Bros. 2 that Luigi donned his traditional blue overalls, green shirt/hat combination. The white shirt/green overalls are now used to signify when a fire flower is received (and is an alternate costume for Luigi in Super Smash Bros. Melee ). Since Super Mario World Luigi's overalls have been portrayed as a darker blue (or even purple) than his brother Mario's. Although this trait first started in Super Mario World, numerous games after that depicted him with the same color as Mario's denim overalls ( Super Smash Bros.).


Luigi's first appearance was in the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros. as the character controlled by the second player. He retained this role in Wrecking Crew (dressed in purple), Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and other titles. The first game where he was available as player one was in Super Mario Bros. , along with Toad and Princess Peach. While Luigi's later appearances have been mainly restricted to spinoffs such as the Mario Party series, he has featured in a starring role on two occasions; first in the 1991 educational game Mario is Missing!, then ten years later in Luigi's Mansion for the Nintendo GameCube in 2001. In each of these games, he is called upon to act as the hero because Mario, the hero of the franchise, is the one in need of help. Luigi was rumored to be a playable character in Super Mario 64 , although he was never found. Luigi was one of the four playable protagonists in Super Mario 64 DS , an enhanced remake of the original Nintendo 64 game. He also appeared in both Super Smash Bros. games as an unlockable character. Luigi's most recent playable appearance would be in New Super Mario Bros. as either a 2nd player in vs. modes, or as a secret character unlocked by a code found after beating the game.

Cameos and allusions

  • In Nintendogs , the player can find Luigi's hat.
  • In Animal Crossing and its sequel, Animal Crossing: Wild World , "Lil' Bro's Shirt", a green shirt with Luigi's "L" logo on it, and a "Lil'Bro's Hat", a green hat bearing the same emblem are unlockable items. When an animal's wardrobe is opened, the player's character may see Luigi's clothes (but the player will not really see it).
  • In WarioWare: Touched!, the player unravels a green shirt on the hardest level of a microgame. After the shirt is unraveled all the way, Luigi is found inside jumping to make an L-shape.
  • In the Nintendo GameCube version of NBA Street V3 , Luigi makes a cameo alongside Mario and Peach as their own playable basketball team, along with their own exclusive Nintendo-themed court.
  • SSX On Tour features Mario, Luigi, Peach, and an exclusive Nintendo-themed track.
  • Luigi's voice appears in the Simpsons Episode " Marge Be Not Proud ", convincing Bart to steal a Video-Game.

In other media

Luigi regularly appeared in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, airing from 1989-1990, which cast Danny Wells as both his live-action portrayal and voice. Like his brother, Luigi's voice actor changed in later cartoons, in his case to Tony Rosato. Even though he was not the starring character in the show, Luigi managed to appear in every episode of the three DiC Mario cartoons (91 episodes in total), one of which Mario himself made no appearance.

Luigi played a different role in the Super Mario Bros. film, where he was portrayed by John Leguizamo. He was a more easy-going character in contrast to the cynical Mario (played by Bob Hoskins ) in the film. Because he was played by a younger and more relatable actor, as opposed to Bob Hoskins, Luigi was presented as the main character for the movie, gaining the affection of Princess Daisy. Luigi was so much younger that Mario was the one who raised him.

On the Show Robot Chicken, Luigi appears in a race with Mario where they don't win, but are comedically part of this large unorthodox race. In a separate episode, Luigi appears with Mario in Vice City, but kills a turtle thinking it is a Koopa, which increases his wanted level, in the end Luigi is killed by a police officer who thinks the wrench Luigi is holding is a weapon he plans on using.

Mario and Luigi appeared in NoDQ Caws as a tag team. They were tag team champions until they lost them. Luigi turned on Mario after their lost and also beat Mario in a loser leaves NoDQ match.


Although Luigi is as kindhearted as his heroic brother, he is portrayed in the games as timid and a bit of a coward, especially in the presence of ghosts or when forced to do tasks that seemingly are impossible. Despite this facet, when in the face of intense adversity, he is known to work up his courage, resolve, and eventually get the job done, proving he is much braver than is believed or portrayed.

Luigi is clumsier than Mario, although he is a better jumper, which is odd considering Mario's "claim to fame" being his jumping ability. He tends to be self-conscious whereas Mario is carefree and headstrong. He is described as being smarter than Mario in the Mario Party instruction manual.

Luigi has been depicted as being less recognizable than his brother, and perhaps underappreciated. A running gag in the Mario and Luigi series has most of the supporting characters having difficulty remembering Luigi's name, referring to him instead as "green guy", "other guy", or even just "Mario's brother". This joke was continued into Super Mario 64 DS, where a few of the Toads in the castle do not immediately recognize Luigi, and Super Princess Peach, where he is jokingly referred to as "The Green Man" when Peach rescues him from the clutches of Kamek. In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Luigi became an esteemed author, writing a series of best-selling novels entitled Super Luigi , which tells the "true" story of his quest to save a princess from a distant land, while Mario is on his adventure to find the Crystal Stars. In " Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time" at one point he is said to have one or several deep, dark and embarrassing secrets that he wishes no-one to know. However this is not a major plot point, and is done for comedy rather than the intent of being taken seriously as character development.

Luigi is usually said to be the younger of the Mario Brothers. In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door , he occasionally refers to Mario as "big brother". However, in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, it is stated that he is Mario's twin. It includes a scene where the infant brothers are delivered by the stork to their parents. From this scene, it is possible to infer that Luigi is actually the younger twin, as Mario is the first to emerge from his sling. This is backed up by the European version of the port, which has selectable languages, all of which use a term meaning "twins" or "twin brothers". Japanese info states that Mario and Luigi are twins. Despite this, Mario acts like a traditional older brother towards Luigi.

Powers and abilities

In most of his video game appearances, Luigi's abilities are either identical to those of Mario or with slight variations. Beginning with Mario Bros. and throughout the Super Mario Bros. series, Luigi's most commonly-seen abilities have revolved around jumping, stomping, and knocking over small enemies, as well as using his fist to either disrupt or break bricks above him. Since Super Mario Bros., Luigi and Mario have made extensive use of items to extend their abilities, the most notable of which being the Super Mushroom, which allows the player's character to grow larger, the Fire Flower, which allows him to throw fireballs until damaged, and the Starman, which grants Mario or Luigi temporary invulnerability. For the most part, Luigi's abilities are comparable to those of Mario.

In Super Mario Bros. 2, Luigi is distinguished as being the best jumper, jumping higher than Princess Toadstool (as Peach was known in North America at the time the game was released), Mario or Toad, although he is not as fast as Mario. In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (released in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2 ), Luigi jumps higher than Mario, but has lower traction, making the character more difficult to control. This characteristic appears in Super Mario 64 DS, where Luigi can run across a small amount of water with a running start using this power. However, he is the same speed as Mario and is surprisingly more agile than the other characters. Unlike Mario, however, he cannot perform a wall-kick.

In the Super Smash Bros. series, Luigi appears as an unlockable character. In general, his moves are similar to Mario's, but in defiance of the usual assumption that Mario is stronger, Luigi's attacks tend to be more powerful. He is better at jumping and running than Mario, but lacks coordination and traction. His special moves are similar to Mario's, the main difference being that his fireballs are green and levitate rather than bounce. His low traction makes him a difficult character to maneuver. However, Luigi's strong smash attacks, balanced moveset, speed, and nearly limitless recovery capacity (i.e. the ability to charge himself up like a rocket can be used as an attack or repeatedly to recover back on stage) makes him a powerful opponent under the experienced player. It is unknown if Luigi will be in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, though it is reasonable to assume so.

In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Luigi is given the ability to harness and release electricity with the technique known as the "Thunderhand". Mario, on the other hand, attains control of fire with the "Firebrand" technique. Combined, they are referred to as the "Hand Powers".

Like his brother and most other Mario series characters, Luigi is shown to be quite skilled at various sports such as baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, golf and go-kart racing.

Luigi is hinted to have a love for gambling. He has been described as an accomplished card dealer, and in Super Mario 64 DS and New Super Mario Bros., Luigi's minigames are card games and other games of chance. It is even mentioned that he has his own casino.

Luigi's speed and agility differ in many games. While it is true that he is often depicted as being slower and less agile than Mario in many games, in the Mario Kart games he is faster and in the Super Mario 64 DS he is as fast as Mario and Yoshi but is the most agile of all the characters.

In New Super Mario Bros., Luigi, along with Mario, gets three new abilities. The first is the blue Koopa shell. This shell, when touched, turns Luigi into Shell Luigi. When running fast enough, he curls into the Koopa shell. He can also duck into the shell, allowing enemies to harmlessly pass by. The shell also increases maneuverability underwater. The second is the Mini Mushroom. Its effect is the opposite that of the Super Mushroom, as it makes Luigi twice as small as he normally is. This allows his jumps to be more "floaty" and he can fit in small pipes as well. He can also run on water. Two downsides are that he's as vulnerable as in his normal small form, and since he's so small, he is also weak and light. If Mini Luigi lands on an enemy, he doesn't do anything to it. He has to ground pound them. Finally is the Mega Mushroom. This super-sized mushroom turns Luigi super-sized (like an exaggerated Super Mushroom). Mega Luigi can crush things like enemies, pipes, even the end-of-level flag. At the top of the screen when Mega Luigi is present, there is a Mega Meter. By smashing things, this meter will be filled. When the effect wears off, every other bar filled will get Luigi a 1-Up Mushroom. The most that can be gotten is five.


With the debut of Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64, Luigi gained a rival character, Waluigi, who has the same relationship to Luigi as Wario does to Mario. Waluigi has since appeared in the Mario Party and Mario Kart series, Mario Power Tennis, and other games featuring Mario's supporting cast. While the two have a tendency to hate each other, Luigi has the greater chance of brushing off the squabbles and moving on, leaving Waluigi to revel in his frustration and anger. Waluigi wears purple, a color Luigi wore once, in the game, Wrecking Crew.

There is also evidence that Luigi, like Mario, is in love with Princess Peach. A cutscene in Mario Power Tennis features Princess Peach blowing kisses to Mario and Luigi, who hover a little and swoon. In games where the player rescues Princess Peach as Luigi, Luigi's emotions are identical to Mario's: showing signs of infatuation with Princess Peach. This belief is reinforced by older forms of media involving the Mario Brothers and Peach. The trio are nonetheless best of friends amongst each other.

By contrast, one of the more notable relationships regarding Luigi is with Princess Daisy of Sarasaland, whose debut role was as resident damsel-in-distress to be rescued by Mario in Super Mario Land for the Game Boy. The possible concept of a relationship between Luigi and Daisy began with NES Open Tournament Golf; in it, she served as Luigi's caddie, just as Peach was Mario's caddie. This is the first possible implication of a relationship between the two, spawning the rumors that are mentioned in Daisy's trophy biography in Super Smash Bros. Melee: "After her appearance in Mario Golf, some gossips started portraying her as Luigi's answer to Mario's Peach." Nintendo has not explicitly said anything regarding their supposed relationship. As a result, the relationship between the two, if any exists, is widely debated by fans.

In Mario Superstar Baseball Luigi has chemistry with Princess Daisy but Mario does not, suggesting that Daisy is to Luigi as Peach is to Mario, but Luigi has chemistry with Peach also.


Since his introduction as 2-player in Super Mario Bros., Luigi has had a considerably lesser role in the Mario universe when compared to his older brother. After the advent of games like Super Mario RPG and Super Mario 64, which gave Luigi a minimal role or none at all, his status as a neglected character rose, to the point where he became a poster boy for Neglected Characters. This Neglect has even become an in-joke of recent games, where secondary characters will fail to recognize him next to his more famous brother Mario.

Although Luigi's Diary in Paper Mario suggests a certain jealousy for his brother's fame, Luigi also admires his brother.

The recently made Mario and Luigi Series has somewhat dispersed Luigi's neglect, giving both brothers equal billing in the series, but Luigi's Fictional neglect still stands.

Baby Luigi

Baby Luigi is the infant form of Luigi, similar to Baby Mario. However, he appeared in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! alongside his older self. It is generally accepted that this game does not have a story line and merely offers extra playable characters for greater variety. Baby Luigi first appeared in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island where he was kidnapped by Kamek, though rescued by Baby Mario and Yoshi. Like his older self, Baby Luigi is voiced by Charles Martinet.

Baby Luigi appeared in Yoshi Touch & Go, where Yoshi must rescue Luigi by throwing eggs in order to hit the Toadies carrying him. In the multiplayer mode, the second player's Yoshi will be carrying Baby Luigi instead of Baby Mario.

Baby Luigi rides in a converted baby carriage in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and appears in Mario Superstar Baseball as an unlockable character.

Baby Luigi stars in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, along with Baby Mario, his older self, and Mario. His abilities in battle appear to be identical to those of Baby Mario. The game explains the co-existence of the two sets of brothers in this game by saying that Mario and Luigi are sent back in time after Princess Peach travels to the past Mushroom Kingdom and the travel goes terribly wrong. They must battle the evil Princess Shroob to restore order to the shattered past of the Mushroom Kingdom.

Actor portrayal

Luigi is voiced by Charles Martinet , who also voices Mario, Waluigi , Wario , and Toadsworth . Unlike Mario, whose voice has remained the same since its debut in Mario's Game Gallery , Luigi's voice has fluctuated between high- and low-pitched varieties throughout games. When his voice was first introduced in Mario Kart 64 , it was considerably lower in pitch than Mario's (although it was high pitched in the Japanese version); however, in Mario Party , he possessed a much higher pitched voice which was similar to Mario's (the same voice from the Japanese Mario Kart 64 ). It is a theory that the Japanese voice actor gave Luigi a higher-pitched voice, and it was simply carried over. He retained this higher voice in Mario Party 2 and Super Smash Bros ; it is possible that the Super Smash Bros. voice, however, is not a voice, but rather Mario's voice elevated to a higher pitch. In Mario Golf , Mario Tennis , and Mario Party 3 , his voice returned to a lower state. Since then, with the exceptions of Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Super Smash Bros. Melee , games have consistently given Luigi a medium-pitched voice. In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Luigi's voice was the same high voice from the Japanese Mario Kart 64 like the words "Here we Go!", "Bingo!" and "Wow,whoah,wow,wow,whoah!". In Super Smash Brothers Melee , Luigi's voice is made up of clips from Mario's voice taken from Super Mario 64 . In Super Mario Strikers , the beginning credits randomly have different characters say "Nintendo" or "Next Level Games". Luigi sounds frightened when saying either logo.

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