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