Mario series
Luigi, as seen in New Super Mario Bros. U (2012)
First appearance Mario Bros. (1983)
Created by Shigeru Miyamoto
Voiced by
Danny Wells (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show)
Tony Rosato (Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World)

Video games:
Mark Graue (Hotel Mario)
Charles Martinet (video games, 1997-present)
Julien Bardakoff (Mario Kart 64 (Japanese version only), Mario Party, Mario Party 2, and Mario Kart: Super Circuit)

Motion capture Danny Wells (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show live-action segments)
John Leguizamo (1993 film)
Hiroyuki Yabe (2005-2006 "Hot Mario Bros." commercials)
Voiced by
Yū Mizushima (1986 film)
Naoki Tatsuta (OVA trilogy)
Kōji Tsujitani (1993 film, VHS Dub)
Bin Shimada (1993 film, 1994 TV dub)
Ichirōta Miyagawa (BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge, Excitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle Stadium)

Luigi (ルイージ Ruīji?) is a fictional character featured in video games and related media released by Nintendo. Created by prominent game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Luigi is portrayed as the slightly younger but taller fraternal twin brother of Nintendo's mascot Mario, and appears in many games throughout the Mario franchise, frequently as a sidekick to his brother.

Luigi first appeared in the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros. as the character controlled by the second player, and retained this role in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and other titles. The first game where he was available as a primary character was Super Mario Bros. 2. In more recent appearances, Luigi's role became increasingly restricted to spinoffs such as the Mario Party and Mario Kart series, though he has been featured in a starring role on three occasions: first in the 1991 educational game Mario is Missing, in Luigi's Mansion for the Nintendo GameCube in 2001, and in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS. In all three of these games, he is called upon to act as the hero because Mario, the usual hero within the franchise, is in need of rescue. Luigi has also appeared in every episode of the three DiC TV series based on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System games.

Originally developed as a palette swap of Mario with a green color scheme instead of red, Luigi has since developed a personality and style of his own. As his role in the Mario series progressed, Luigi evolved into a physically distinct character, taller and thinner than his brother. Nintendo has called 2013 "The Year of Luigi" to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the character's existence. Correspondingly, games being released in 2013 emphasise Luigi, such as Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and the level pack New Super Luigi U for New Super Mario Bros U.

Concept and creation

The events leading to Luigi's creation began in 1982, during the development of Donkey Kong, where the Nintendo 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.[1] Miyamoto had been inspired by the game Joust to create a game with a simultaneous two-player mode, which led to his development of the game Mario Bros. in 1983, with Luigi filling the role of Mario's brother as the second playable character.[2] Luigi's name is said to have been inspired by a pizza parlor near Nintendo of America's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, called "Mario & Luigi's".[2] Miyamoto observed that the word ruiji means "similar" in the Japanese language, and that Luigi was designed to have the same size, shape and gameplay of Mario.[3]

While Mario was originally portrayed as a carpenter in Donkey Kong, the duo of Mario and Luigi in Mario Bros. were styled as Italian plumbers by Miyamoto, on the suggestion of a colleague.[4] Software constraints of the time—similar to those that gave Mario his distinctive look in Donkey Kong—meant Luigi's first appearance was restricted to a simple palette swap of Mario designed to represent the second player. Graphically and in terms of gameplay, the characters were completely identical, except for their color schemes;[5] the green color scheme adopted for Luigi would remain one of his defining physical characteristics in subsequent releases.

After the success of Mario Bros., Luigi was introduced to a wider audience in 1985 with the release of the console game Super Mario Bros. Once again his role was restricted to a palette swap of Mario, functioning as the second-player in a similar fashion to Mario Bros.. The subsequent Japan-only version of Super Mario Bros. 2 in 1986 (later released in the west as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels) marked the beginning of Luigi's development toward becoming a more distinguished character. As with his previous appearances, Luigi remained a palette swap of Mario; however, his movement was no longer identical. Luigi could now jump higher and farther than his brother, at the expense of movement response and precision.[6]

While this version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in Japan, it was deemed to be too difficult for American audiences at the time.[4] In 1988, consequently, an alternative release was developed to serve as Super Mario Bros. 2 for western players (and later released in Japan as Super Mario USA); this version would play a key role in shaping Luigi's current appearance. .[4] The game was a conversion of Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, with the graphics altered to represent characters and scenes from the Mario franchise. In this release, the character of "Mama", who had the highest jump among the original cast, served as the template for Luigi, resulting in his taller, thinner look, combined with his Marioesque outfit and ubiquitous green color scheme. There were earlier appearances of Luigi being taller than Mario: in the 1988 Famicom Disk System game Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally and earlier, in a very rare 1986 anime Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen! (though in the anime he wore a yellow shirt and the color of his hat and overalls were blue). Official artwork for Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World depicts Luigi with this new look; but Nintendo of Japan would not adapt his artwork differences to his look in-game until the 1992 game Super Mario Kart. Luigi's distinctive appearance from the Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic-inspired version of Super Mario Bros. 2 has been used ever since, even for remakes of games in which he was originally a palette swap.

Luigi emblem

This emblem appears on Luigi's hat and as a symbol for him in many game interfaces.

Actor portrayal

Much like his appearance, Luigi's vocal portrayal has fluctuated over the years. When voice acting was first introduced to Mario video games in Mario Kart 64, some characters including Luigi had two different voices according to the region of the game: North American and European versions feature a low-pitched voice for Luigi, provided by Charles Martinet, who also voices Mario, Wario, Waluigi, and Toadsworth, whereas the Japanese version uses a high-pitched, falsetto voice, provided by (then French translator at Nintendo) Julien Bardakoff. All versions of Mario Party feature Bardakoff's high-pitched clips from Mario Kart 64. Luigi retained this higher voice in Mario Party 2. 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, Luigi has consistently had a medium-pitched voice. In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Luigi's voice was the same high voice from the Japanese Mario Kart 64. In Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, Luigi's voice is made up of clips from Mario's voice taken from Super Mario 64, with raised pitches. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he has his own voice (which is medium-pitched) instead of a pitched-up version of Mario's.


MarioLuigi MarioBrosSprites

The arcade version of Mario Bros., released in 1983, featured Luigi (right) in his debut appearance as a palette swap of Mario.

Luigi is portrayed as the taller, younger brother of Mario, and he is usually seen dressed in green with overalls.[7] Although Luigi is a plumber,[7] like his brother, other facets of his personality vary from game to game. Luigi always seems nervous and timid but is good-natured and not as quick to anger as his more famous brother. A baby version of the character named Baby Luigi debuted in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, who is held captive by Kamek. He also appeared in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time as a playable character along with Baby Mario. He is voiced by Charles Martinet, just like his adult self.

While it has not been made official, Daisy may be Luigi's romantic interest. They were a romantic couple in the Super Mario Bros. film[citation needed] and in Mario Kart Wii they are seen in statue dancing together.[citation needed] She was his caddy in NES Open Tournament Golf[8] as Peach was to Mario. Also on Daisy's trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, it says that she is possibly Luigi's answer to Mario's Peach.[9]


Mario series

Luigi vacuum

Luigi as seen in Luigi's Mansion. The vacuum was listed as one of the best Nintendo gimmicks by GameDaily.

Luigi's first appearance was in the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros.[7] as the character controlled by the second player. He retained this role in Wrecking Crew. He later appeared in Super Mario Bros.[7] for the NES, and again in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World. Super Mario Bros. 2 introduced Luigi as the taller of the two brothers, as well as the better jumper. Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World returned to featuring Luigi as a reskinned Mario. He made a minor appearance in his baby form in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Beginning with Super Mario 64, Luigi made no appearances in main Mario titles, including the sequel Super Mario Sunshine. However, the Nintendo DS remake of Super Mario 64 features him as a playable character alongside Mario, Yoshi, and Wario. He received his own starring role in the Nintendo GameCube video game Luigi's Mansion, where he wins a mansion from a contest he never entered, and saves Mario from King Boo. Luigi's Mansion has cultivated such a cult following that Nintendo made a sequel to the game nearly a decade after the original game's release date. The sequel is called Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and is playable on the Nintendo 3DS. Luigi became playable in the Nintendo DS game New Super Mario Bros. as a hidden character, and as a hidden character in the Wii game Super Mario Galaxy. In its sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2, the player can switch out for Luigi throughout the game.[10] He also appears as a playable character in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, where four players can play at once cooperatively as Mario, Luigi, and two Toads. He also stars in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon.[11] He also appears in Super Mario 3D Land as a playable character as well as New Super Mario Bros. 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U, the latter having a DLC mode where he is the main character called "New Super Luigi U" which has levels altered to his specific play abilities, including higher jumping. The DLC is also available as a standalone retail version.

Appearance in other games

Luigi appears in all of the Mario spin-offs, including Mario Kart, Mario Party, and Mario sports titles. He also appears in the first three installments of the Super Smash Bros. series as an unlockable character in each.

Luigi has appeared in every Mario role-playing game. While he originally made a cameo appearance in the end credits of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, he appears more prominently in the Paper Mario series. He is a non-playable character in the original Paper Mario. In the sequel Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, he appears yet again as a non-playable character, going on a separate adventure from Mario's. Super Paper Mario features him as a playable character after he is initially brainwashed into working for the antagonist under the name "Mr. L." The Mario & Luigi series features Luigi as a main protagonist; the events of the game focus on him and his brother Mario. He has appeared in all four Mario & Luigi games, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team.

Other media


Luigi, as he appears in the Super Mario World television series.

Luigi made his animated debut in the 1986 Original video animation Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach. In the film, he was voiced by Yū Mizushima and had a different color scheme than he has today, sporting a blue cap, blue overalls, and a yellow shirt. This was because he was not yet given a consistent color scheme. In the OVA, Luigi was very greedy and even left Mario at one point to look for coins. He was also a little more serious than his brother Mario, who constantly would daydream about Princess Peach, although he is not as brave as Mario.[citation needed]

Luigi later made an appearance in the third of a trilogy of OVAs released in 1989, in which the Mario characters acted out the story of Snow White. He appears at the end of the video to save Mario and Peach from the Wicked Queen, portrayed by Bowser (called "Koopa" in Japan).[citation needed]

Luigi regularly appeared in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, airing from 1989 to 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 appeared in every episode of the three DiC Mario cartoons (91 episodes in total), in one of which Mario himself did not appear ("Life's Ruff" from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3).

Luigi played a different role in the Super Mario Bros. film, where he was portrayed by John Leguizamo.[12] He was a more easy-going character in contrast to the cynical Mario (played by Bob Hoskins[12]) in the film.

Luigi has also appeared in several Robot Chicken sketches, always alongside Mario.[citation needed] In one sketch, he and Mario accidentally appear in Vice City, from the Grand Theft Auto series, while another features them competing in a Cannonball Run-styled car race.[citation needed]


Since his appearance in Super Mario Bros., Luigi has received generally positive reception. Nintendo Power listed Luigi as their fifth favourite hero, citing his dependability while describing him as being an underdog. They also listed him as having one of the best mustaches.[13] GameDaily listed the "neglected guy" as one of their top 25 video game archetypes, citing Luigi as an example and stating that he lacks the charisma of his brother Mario and that he should get another starring role.[14] They also listed Luigi's Poltergust 3000 from Luigi's Mansion as one of the top 25 Nintendo gimmicks.[15] UGO Networks ranked Luigi at #16 on their "25 Most Memorable Italians in Video Games" list, ranking him over Mario himself.[16]

Luigi has been featured in many "Top Sidekicks" lists. Machinima placed Luigi as the best sidekick on gaming on their "Top 10 Sidekicks in Gaming" list.[17] He was also listed as the best sidekick in video games by Maximum PC.[18] IGN ranked him at #2 on their top 10 list, commenting "No pair illustrates brotherly love like Mario and Luigi".[19] Luigi is also ranked at #2 on ScrewAttack's top 10 list, where they comment that even though he does everything Mario does, he gets none of the glory.[20] WhatCulture listed him at #5 on their top 20 list, adding that a Mario game doesn't seem like a Mario game without Luigi.[21] Maxim listed Luigi as the second most underrated sidekick.[22]


  1. Demaria, R: "High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games", page 238. McGraw Hill-Osbourne, 2002
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Mario Bros. Arcade". International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 2006-08-14. 
  3. New Straits Times, 10 August 1986
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 McLaughlin, Rus (8 November 2007). "The History of Super Mario Bros.". IGN. Retrieved 7 January 2010. 
  5. "Nintendo's Shining Star: The History of Mario". Gamecubicle. Retrieved 2006-12-16. 
  6. Hayward, Andrew. (2007-10-01) VC Update: Sin and Punishment, Mario: Lost Levels. Retrieved on 2008-04-14.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Luigi Biography". IGN. Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  8. "IGN: Princess Daisy Biography". 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  9. 2002. Nintendo. "Trophy Gallery" on Super Smash Bros. Melee game disc.
  10. Words: Henry Gilbert, GamesRadar US. "Luigi in Mario Galaxy 2? Official Japanese site says yes, Super Mario Galaxy 2 Wii News". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  11. Brown, Andrew (June 7, 2011). "Luigi's Mansion 2 to Haunt Nintendo 3DS". Nintendo World Report. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "At the Movies:Super Mario Bros.". Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  13. Nintendo Power 250th issue!. South San Francisco, California: Future US. 2010. pp. 40, 47. 
  14. January 23, 2009 (2009-01-23). "Gallery and Images". GameDaily. Retrieved 2010-08-10. [dead link]
  15. Chris Buffa (2009-06-19). "Gallery and Images". GameDaily. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  16. Meli, Marissa (2010-08-25). "Top 25 Italians In Video Games". Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  17. "Top 10 Sidekicks in Gaming". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  18. "Thanks Buddy!: 25 of Gaming's Greatest Sidekicks". Maximum PC. 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  19. "Top 10 Tuesday: Best Sidekicks - PS2 Feature at IGN". Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  20. "Top 10 Sidekicks". Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  21. "20 Top Video Game Sidekicks Of All Time". 2011-09-23. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  22. "The 10 Most Underrated Sidekicks Ever". Retrieved 2011-12-30. 

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