Overwatch brings us a new hero, Wrecking Ball. What can this hell-raising hamster do?Written by Imogen Mellor on 19th July 2018
Everyone Is Not Here
Gaming editor James Law makes his feelings clear about the character Nintendo neglected in their Super Smash Bros. Ultimate announcement
Nintendo has, in their E3 announcement of the new Super Smash Bros. game, doomed their most beloved character to the depths. He will forever be a ‘defensive’ or ‘technical’ character in Switch releases of sports games, the ultimate insult to any character’s pertinence in Nintendo canon.
I, of course, refer to Waluigi’s scandalous omission from the roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
From a blank slate of a character, this man has had a personality projected upon him from the deepest, darkest sides of our own collective existence. In a sense, Waluigi is an extension of the self. He is whoever you want him to be. He’s gone from being an angry, irritating non-entity to being a powerhouse of style, swagger, and raw sexual energy - sides of our personalities that society deems taboo and forbids us from embracing. Waluigi is an invitation delivered straight into your unfulfilled, desperate face. An invitation to be yourself. To embrace your individuality. Is Wario his brother? Lover? Friend? Their relationship’s ambiguity reflects the relationships in your own life, and the complexity, the unknowable nature of human connection as a whole. As the famous, now quintessential chef-d'œuvre, ‘Critical Perspectives on Waluigi’ famously articulated: “we are all Waluigi”. The world’s first crowdsourced supervillain.
Therefore, in refusing to add Waluigi to Smash as more than a (now killable) assist trophy, Nintendo has sent a worrying message. Waluigi, reflecting the true sense of being, is merely a disposable plaything to the powers that be. He is summoned to sacrifice his labour and tennis racket to the main roster, before getting vapourised or smacked off of the stage. He’s valuable, but not essential. He’s replaceable, by any other assist trophy character. He’s unfairly underappreciated and under-compensated for his labour. Waluigi is you. Waluigi is me. Waluigi is everyone who has been unfairly mistreated under the system we call capitalism, our compensation for labour being extracted for profits by the higher-ups. It’s probably naïve to assume that Nintendo, another of our corporate overlords whose marketing we go out of our way to consume at E3, would care about the people. They don’t. But they didn’t have to insult all of us and depict the futility of our struggle in front of the world, smiling into the camera as they spit on our dreams. They did it because they could, because they know we are powerless to stop them. The knocking out of 'tennis Waluigi' symbolises the destruction of my will to continue to fight. Sent to do the bidding of one oligarch against another, we truly have no autonomy in the wider war. We are between a rock and a hard place - we need a voice in the struggle, but the risk of including Waluigi in the main roster reflects the risk of becoming assimilated by the powers we wish to oppose.
All is not lost, friends. All of us, every Waluigi amongst us can bring the fight to those who would hold us down. Imagine if every assist trophy activated simultaneously. That is what the revolution will look like.