How Nintendo’s Mario Became Wario

How Mario became Wario by Nintendo

Wario by Nintendo ©2007

Mario became Wario, how a little translation changed a game character

Game players around the world love Mario and his antagonist, Wario. Although Wario isn’t a bad guy; he’s just a baddish, tougher version of Mario!

How did Nintendo come up with the name Wario?

Actually there are a couple of interesting facts around this.

The first and simplest explanation, of course, is that they wanted Mario’s competitor to be the exact opposite to him: a “bad” Mario.  This is why the characters look alike. In coming up with the name, they considered using a similar name to Mario. How could you make the name Mario sound bad?

Second explanation: in Japanese (Mario was invented in Japan), the phrase “warui” (悪い) means “bad”. Simply changing M to W gives you “Wario”, which sounds similar to warui. A little translation and a play-on-words gives you a new name.

Thus, Bad Mario, or Wario, was born.

The STAR Team

Trivia: Wario first appeared in the 1992 title Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins for the Game Boy.

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