Remember when Luigi first appeared in Luigi’s Mansion over a decade ago? Though the game itself was a bit disappointing, it blew me away when it came to presentation. Suddenly, Luigi felt alive. You could feel what he was feeling, his fear, his emotion, his cowardice. It developed Luigi as a character, as a brother, as a person.
It’s what makes great side-games great. With the release of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon in less than a week, I thought it would be kind of cool to search for more Nintendo side-characters and try to come up with different types of games for them. So, with our handy “one character per franchise” rule at hand, let’s begin!
Type of Game: Adventure/Puzzle
Okay, I’ll admit, the only reason why this scrawny anorexic weirdo in purple is on my list is because I hate him. I really do. He has no character, no story, and the only reason for his existence was because Wario didn’t have a partner in 2000’s Mario Tennis. Talk about useless.
But perhaps it is because we know so little about this character that we are so intrigued by him. The only thing that we know about Waluigi’s character is that he is full of self-pity. But why is he like that? Who exactly is Waluigi? Why does he hate the world so much? Why is he so willing to cheat his way out of situations? You see, Waluigi has the potential to be an interesting character, possibly deeper than any Nintendo character to date.
I’m thinking that we can put Waluigi is some sort of adventure/puzzle game. Braid comes to mind as a pretty good illustration of what I’m trying to get at. The main character of Braid, Tim, is purposefully ambiguous until the end of the game, in which he experiences an epiphany and the story comes into a full circle. Waluigi is much like Tim in that much is unknown about him, and if a game can explain a character’s story as well as Braid did to Tim, surely something similar can be done to Waluigi.
Franchise: Star Fox
Type of Game: Action/Third-Person Shooter
It doesn’t take much to understand why Falco is so beloved in the Star Fox universe. While oftentimes rude and crass, his self-confident strikes a sharp contrast against the rest of the Star Fox team. People love him so much, he even has his own manga series, though it still leaves out important aspects of Falco’s life and history.
The reason why I put Falco on this list is not only because of his shady character, but also because he would fit perfectly in a genre that Nintendo has been severely lacking: the third-person shooter. Star Fox Assault was a step in the right direction, but it wasn’t what Star Fox fans wanted. So let them have their Star Fox game, and let me have my Falco. Problem solved.
3. META KNIGHT
Character: Meta Knight
Type of Game: Action
Alas, we come across yet another mysterious character in the Nintendo universe. But what sets Meta Knight apart from the rest is that he’s totally a bad*ss. Seriously, just look at him. He has a cool-looking mask, and awesome cape thingy, and a magical sword. This guy has got to be part of some sort of vigilante group or something.
And that’s why it seems perfect for Meta Knight to star in his own action game. Like Falco and Waluigi, Meta Knight’s story is largely unknown, and surely such a cool guy as him would have an equally cool backstory. Then again, when we wanted a story for Shadow the Hedgehog, we did end up getting… yeah.
On a side note, my original plan was to put Prince Fluff on this list, but I didn’t really like Epic Yarn all that much…
Type of Game: 2D Platformer
Admit it. Your favorite part of every WarioWare game is always the 9-Volt chapter. No use in denying it now, because you’ve been exposed. And I don’t blame you; who doesn’t enjoy those three second doses of retro goodness?
One thing interesting about Nintendo is that for a company so rooted in the past they never really do anything to appeal to the “retro” audience. Games like Cave Story and VVVVVV are homages to the early days of gaming, yet aside from Virtual Console rereleases, Nintendo has been oddly silent from the retro scene. I think 9-Volt can change all of that.
I think 9-Volt would work great in a hardcore 2D platformer. No, not Donkey Kong Country Returns hard. Super Meat Boy hard. I want Nintendo to make the hardest platformer ever created, one that challenges even the corest of the core. I want them to combine that with the level of off-the-charts presentation and superb level design Nintendo has been known for. Mario fans have been begging for a harder platformer in ages. Now is Nintendo’s chance to satiate them.
Franchise: The Legend of Zelda
Type of Game: Action-Adventure
Tetra first appeared in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and has only appeared in one other game: Phantom Hourglass. But Tetra is a character with so much potential that I’m honestly surprised that Nintendo hasn’t gone back to her.
For those who don’t know, Tetra is the captain of a group of pirates that visit Link’s island the Wind Waker. The two of them cross paths multiple times throughout the game, and at the end of the game it is revealed that she is in fact Princess Zelda.
Her story is emotional – she lost her mother at a young age and joined a band of pirates as a kid – but that’s what makes her fascinating. And also, she’s a pirate, and I want an awesome pirate game. I want to blunder ships, beat the crap out of people, and steal all their stuff.
I want pirate games to be the next big thing. With Kaio and Assassin’s Creed IV coming later this year, it sure looks like it, doesn’t it?
And what about you guys? Any side characters you feel that deserve their own game? Sound off in the comments below!