The Difference Between Luigi And Mario, According To People Who Would Know

You might think that the difference between Nintendo's famous brothers is that one likes to wear red and the other wears green, or that one of them can sometimes jump a tad higher. But there's another key difference.

Luigi, the creators of the next Luigi-starring game from Nintendo, is more emotional. That is essentially what these developers said when I asked them to tell me how the brothers differed. We had this conversation as part of a transcontinental video conference call.

"Luigi, by nature, is sort of a little bit of a fearful and clumsy character, so that's something that provides a lot of opportunity for gameplay," Yoshihito Ikebata, the supervisor for Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, told me via a video uplink from Nintendo HQ in Kyoto.

"With Luigi you can also explore a wider range of emotions," added Brian Davis, a gameplay engineer at Next Level Games, the studio based in Vancouver, Canada, that co-developed a pair of Mario-family soccer games for GameCube and Wii as well as the most recent Punch-Out. Davis and his colleague were chiming in from Nintendo of America's offices near San Francisco.

These were not the answers I was expecting. Sure, Mario's a mascot and therefore something of a generic everyman. I'd not thought of Luigi as more fleshed-out, as more emotional.

"He's kind of the underdog in the shadow of his brother," Davis's colleague Bryce Holliday, director at Next Level, said. "So he kind of has that fearful tension that always surrounds him. This game's about spooks and comedy. He just provides a wider range or reactions. Our animators have had a lot more fun kind of getting a wider range of emotions through to the player than Mario will. He just kind of does his pump-fist and jumps up. After 10 hours of pump-fist, it might be too much."

OK, that makes sense. Mario's a success and maybe a little bland. But Luigi? We can relate to Luigi better. (Plus: he's cooler.)

Luigi appears to spend a good chunk of the upcoming Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon oscillating between fear and glee. That's more than we'd get from Super Mario. Dark Moon will be out on 3DS on March 24. But I'll have much more from my unusual, globe-spanning interview with the game's developers in the coming days.


    The way I tell the difference between the two is: Luigi actually has character / emotion, Mario does not.

      Oh wow, you read and repeated the first paragraph. Keen observer.

        Thanks man! I really appreciate the compliment.

        Anyway, what I was stating is that they claim Luigi is "more emotional" then his brother. I'm claiming that Mario has No emotion, in fact I'm fairly certain he is a robot.

          Not when he jumps, dood gets well excited.

          Yah, YAHA, YAHHHOOOOOOOO - Triple Jump Mario 64

            Mario kind of creeps me out when he talks now ever since I saw the voice actor doing the voice. Now I just picture him and it's weird. Haha!

              Ha! I've never watched any of the vids. The photos were scary enough.

    Aw man, I want a Wii U version of Luigi's Mansion! :'(

      I'd just settle for a game on my Wii U. *trollhard 2:troll harder*

        You make a good point. Zombi U's getting lonely as the only game played on mine. :D

      There is DC. It plays like pacman

        *shakes fist at Nintendo Land*

    I feel bad for not knowing these guys did Punch-Out!!

    That was a damn good game.

    I've been wondering for a while now: if they're brothers, where are their parents? Are they both dead? Are they half-brothers? What about other siblings?

    I read somewhere, sometime about the idea that (to paraphrase): the Mario brothers are two residents of New York City who have been sucked into the Mushroom Kingdom in the Nintendo Dimension. They derive their Super powers from their inherently different biology (much the same as Superman) and make the best of their predicament. Mario is the more pragmatic older brother; Luigi is just a bit more sensitive.

    But what about the world they left behind? Their parents? Was either of them married or had a significant other?

      lol thats the storyline to the Mario Bros Movie that was terrible.

        ...Mario Bros Movie that was awesome

        Fixed that for you.

        ah, I never saw that one. Maybe I'll dig it up - is it considered canon?

          it was so extremely bad i doubt nintendo would want anyone to consider it canon... if you get really drunk and watch it you will probably find it amazing though.

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