clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

When did Luigi become a joke?

He’s Nintendo’s punching bag

Luigi is dead. Or he might as well be, since his creators don’t mind killing him for a joke.

In last week’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Direct, Luigi was included in the reveal that Simon and Richter Belmont are joining the game as playable characters. In the cinematic, an incredibly serious personification of death reaped Luigi’s soul from his body. An enormous scythe drew through the younger Mario brother, and everyone watched and laughed.

How did it come to this?

I dug deep into Mario canon to figure out when Luigi switched from a smart and capable twin to a spineless punching bag. Surprisingly, the three steps that led to Luigi’s enfeebling include a show, an RPG and a weird edutainment game.

If you’re looking for more deep dives into game history, make sure to subscribe to Polygon’s YouTube channel. And if you’d like a flashy video about how one number turned the tide in the console wars, check out our video all about Sega and Playstation.