Waluigi Has Become the Unlikely King of E3 2018

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With the big days of announcements behind us, we’ve seen most of what we’re going to see at E3 2018, and gamers’ opinions of what they saw are starting to coalesce—and somehow, against all odds, Waluigi is coming out on top.

Yesterday, Nintendo held their presentation for what fans can expect on the Switch system through the end of the year, and there wasn’t really a lot going on in terms of Nintendo’s purple-clad plumber. Is he even a plumber? Do our Wario bros. even have professions? Yes, I know I could Google it, but the confusion is much more fun. Anyway, the company’s presentation focused on going over, at length, the new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and all the differences, both large and inconsequential, between the characters’ new incarnations and their appearance in the Wii U and 3DS versions.

The roster boasts around 65 fighters, depending on how you count, complete with two versions of Mario, three Links, and even the Wii Fit trainer, but still no love for Waluigi, who’s again making an appearance as an assist trophy. They even took things a step further this time around, using poor Waluigi as a punching bag to demonstrate the new ability for players to fight back and destroy assist characters:

waluigi gets destroyed by Marth in Smash Bros. Ultimate

Seriously, Nintendo, what did Waluigi DO to you?

Perhaps it was a step too far. Ever since the reveal, there has been outcry across the internet, and as with all thing Waluigi, it is impossible to tell the irony and legitimate love for the character apart—probably because the line between them has always been blurry at best. Whatever the case, the outcry was swift, probably because the most essential part of being a Waluigi fans is turning him into a joke.

Even Daisy beat him into the game as her own playable character despite being pretty much an exact copy—literally labeled an “echo fighter”—of Peach:

One of the big selling points, explicitly stated right from the demonstration’s start, was “everyone’s here,” which just rubbed the salt in more:

Even the Washington Post got in on it:

Democracy dies in dankness?

Either Nintendo wasn’t expecting this level of Streisand effect, or they did, and they played us all absolutely brilliantly. Honestly, as much as I love Smash Bros. and am excited for this game, Nintendo’s E3 was a bit lacking this year, especially considering how close Ultimate is to an updated port of the Wii U Smash game. Playable or not, Waluigi might end up being the most talked about part. When everyone starts talking about who “won” E3, I think we’ll all know the answer.

(image: Nintendo)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.