Esoteric. Enigmatic. Reclusive: All of these words describe the Mushroom Kingdom’s singular hero, Luigi. While his brother Mario is by far better-known, most residents are at least marginally aware of the taller, lankier brother. Fewer, however, know about how Luigi himself was largely responsible for the duo’s success throughout their well-known, well-publicized adventures. I had a chance to sit down with Luigi at his oceanside bungalow just outside of Rose Town:
ADR: So, tell me, what have you been up to lately?
L: I’ve been taking it easy since our last big campaign. Things have been pretty slow, to be honest. Of course, I’m still rocking 600 pounds on my squats — that’s how I keep the high-jumping going, you know!
ADR: Nice. Now, you weren’t involved with your brother’s first adventure, where he faced off against Donkey Kong for the first time. What were you doing then?
L: Are you kidding? I was right there on the sidelines. Who do you think left all those sledgehammers around the construction site? Guys usually put those up at the end of the work day, you know.
ADR: So I guess you mattered more than anyone realized at the time. Next time there was a crisis in Brooklyn, though, you and Mario were both on the scene, as equal partners.
L: Yeah, except for it was his name up in lights. Not that Mario didn’t do his part, but everyone portrayed me as his sidekick, even though I could do everything he could do. Did you see the commercials for that game? They had me running around, singing “Mario, where are you?” like a complete chump. That was pretty aggravating.
ADR: I can imagine. The next adventure you guys had, Mario still had top billing, but you busted out of your shell in a big way.
L: I think everyone remembers our first Mushroom Kingdom campaign best because of how Mario totally stomped the bad guys in the first world. Everyone forgets that I kept hearing how the princess was in another castle, too. And I heard it at least two more times than he did. Sure, he may have reached the REAL Bowser first, but that’s just because he used the warp zone.
ADR: Some of our readers may be thinking that you’re just disrespecting your brother at this point. What would you say to this criticism?
L: Mario is definitely worthy of respect, no question. Just because I think I contributed equally to our accomplishments doesn’t diminish that. It’s just that people feel threatened when their generally accepted beliefs are challenged.
ADR: Speaking of equal accomplishments, it seems that you and Mario beat the exact same number of levels in Sub-Con. What do you think that says about your respective abilities?
L: Um, I think you’re talking about a dream that Mario had a while back.
ADR: Right, sorry. Moving on, what do you think your grandest achievement has been to date?
L: Well, I have quite a few. Like the time I won the Mariokart GP 150cc Special Cup– actually, that happened a couple times. Or when I published a volume of my memoirs– The Adventures of Super Luigi, and it made the top ten New York Times bestseller list for fifty-three weeks straight. That was pretty cool. But, to be honest, I think the best part was when I explored the reaches of the known galaxy almost fifteen minutes before Mario showed up. Sure, he was there pretty quick after, but first is first, right?
ADR: Well, that doesn’t sound petty at all…
L: Hey! Who asked you?!
ADR: Thanks for you time today, and I wish you luck in your endeavors, Luigi.
L: Wait a second! Where do you get off saying things like that…?
With a steely glint in his eye, I left Mario’s younger brother behind, flush with the excitement of adventures to come. What future wonders awaited this verdant former Olympic high-jumper? Only time would tell.