Enough was enough. Waluigi turned his head towards the couch. There he was. Wario was lazily scooping up another handful of popcorn, his eyes glued to the television set. He shoveled the entire quantity of popcorn into his mouth, his hand acting like some kind of high-powered tractor.
No response. Evidently, something hilarious just happened on the television screen. His brother began laughing hysterically. Chunks of popcorn flew out of his mouth in every direction.
Still nothing. Waluigi sighed, got up from the dinner table, and sauntered over to the television. Wario didn’t seem to notice a thing until Waluigi flipped off the power switch.
That seemed to get his attention. Once the shock of the television going dead wore off, an exasperated Wario finished swallowing his most recent batch of popcorn. The large man wiped his crusty mouth with the back of his hand and mustered the following question.
“What’d ya do that for, bro?” Was he really this dumb or was he just pretending?
“The latest Smash Brothers challenger pack." Waluigi folded his arms. "I want to know if I made the cut.”
Wario’s usual boldness visibly dissipated, and he defensively reached for another helping of popcorn. “Yeah, of course, bro. Don’t even worry about it, bro.”
He used “bro” twice. That meant he was nervous.
“Is that what Sakurai told you?” He looked his brother square in the eyes. “Did Masahiro freaking Sakurai say that to your face?”
“Waaaa!" He was so sick of that noise. Wario always defaulted to that when he had nothing substantive to say. "Relax, bro. What are you getting so worked up about?"
"RELAX?" Waluigi screamed at the top of his lungs. "That's what you told me to do on the last Challenger Pack! And the one before that! Relax?"
Wario swallowed audibly yet again, despite having zero popcorn in his mouth.
"How many times are you gonna lie to me, brother?" Waluigi could smell his brother's fear. "Do you know how embarrassing it is for me? To be the one major character in this stupid franchise who's not a playable character?"
"Major character is a bit of a stretch..."
"Who even are these other challengers? How many more Fire Emblem characters do we need? Does anyone out there actually know who Terry Bogard is? And don't get me started on Wii Fit Trainer." Waluigi paused a second to massage his temples. "She doesn't even have a proper name. And she's been in two whole Smash games. That's two more than me."
"C'mon, bro," Wario began. "Don't be like that. You've been an assist trophy a few times. That's pretty dope."
Waluigi stormed over to his brother's sofa. He knocked aside the half-empty bowl of popcorn with one deft stroke. His brother gave out a small yelp.
"An assist trophy?" Waluigi hissed. "Name one person who plays Super Smash Brothers and walks away talking about
how dope the assist trophies are."
"W-waaahhh..." Wario squirmed in his seat, from which he pawed feebly at the now-toppled popcorn bowl on the ground. "My popcorn..." Tears started to materialize under his bulgy eyes. Waluigi had nothing to offer but a look of utter contempt.
"Oh, quit your whining, you... you putrid creature."
"I'm sorry, bro," the large yellow man croaked. Snot began to leak out of his nostrils. Disgusting. "I swear,
I'll talk to Sakurai for real this time, bro. Wahhh..." Absolutely disgusting.
"No." Waluigi grabbed his trademark purple hat off the hatstand. "It's time I took matters into my own hands."
"Wh-what do you mean by that, bro?"
"It's clear that Super Smash Brothers never needed me." He started for the exit. "But I don't need them either. While you're out there farting and motorcycling around like the laughingstock you are, I'm going to actually make something of myself."
Wario wiped some sweat from his forehead. He thought Waluigi wouldn't notice him rubbing off the residue on his rear-end. But he noticed. "I still don't get it, bro. What are you doing?"
Waluigi continued. "Obviously, I'm going to start my own enterprise. One that will be much more successful than Nintendo will ever be. They say that you can get anywhere with enough hard work, but that's a load of Koopa Shell. For countless years, I've been stuck playing a two-bit gag character in Mario Party after Mario Party. And I've got nothing to show for it but the occasional pity slot in a laughably imbalanced Mario Tennis game." He glanced over his shoulder to give his brother one last look.
Wario was picking popcorn bits off the floor. "Oh, so another one of your little business ventures? Well, that sounds cool, bro. Good luck with that."
"I'm sensing some doubt in your voice. But you'll see. This shall be the dawn of a new era, my brother." He opened the door. His target: the world.
In order to realize his ambitions of gaming industry dominance, Waluigi set out to launch his own company! And as with most corporate empires, Waluigi's company's first base of operations was his garage. Humble beginnings made for a good underdog story.
However, this wasn’t Waluigi’s first attempt at starting a business. Pouring over his past business expenditures, Waluigi furrowed his brows and wondered what went wrong.
"So what's the big idea this time, bro?" Wario asked.
"I'm going to be creating a company that outmatches Nintendo in every way," Waluigi replied. "And naturally, it will be called... Wintendont!" He beamed with pride.
"Doesn't that sound like a company that, uh, doesn't win?"
"Silence, fool." Genius is lost on idiots like him. "Now, let's see..."
Choose Your Character!
This part of the story contains spoilers for a puzzle.
"Waaa! That's it!" Waluigi leapt to his feet. "My pension! I can still fund my next business with Waluigi's pension!" (Not everyone gets to be a green plumber with a luxurious, sometimes-haunted mansion.)
It turned out that years of neglect and not being in games had allowed Waluigi to amass an impressive amount of money through a pension plan. But the question remained -- what to spend this money on?
"Let's take a step back here... What are the most pressing needs in the world?" And it hit him. "Eureka!" He excitedly hopped over to a nearby computer and began researching some familiar names from various Nintendo games.
"I can't be the only disenfranchised Nintendo character out there... How many have also been passed over in favor of Fire Emblem character #50? Think of all the deserving characters who aren't being put in Super Smash Brothers." A wide grin began forming on his lips. "I'll show them all by making my own, better Smash game! Today marks the birth of... Big Bash Siblings!"
“Ah, yes! Waaaaater Margin!" Waluigi cried triumphantly. "Of course, of course." He opened his office door and
screamed into the hallway. "Everyone, get in here!"
Within minutes, the current roster of eight smashers filed into the room. Waluigi began pacing around the room and
clapping. "Water Margin, Water Margin, Water Margin!"
Beedle shot a look of confusion at the others. Doshin the Giant, who was watching the proceedings from outside the window, shrugged and inadvertently shook various rooms in the building. Paper Luigi decided to break the silence.
"Uh, what?" he said flatly.
Waluigi mumbled as he hurried to a bookshelf in the back of his office. "All Men Are Brothers. All Men Are
Brothers." As he passed his desk, Wario’s face popped up on his phone screen, but he dismissed the call. Couldn’t Wario sense that he was in the middle of something important?
Hilda loudly cleared her throat. "Um, you forgetting about someone here? And seriously, what's with this whole 'bro' thing? Is this supposed to be a professional workplace or some kind of low-tier fraternity house?"
Waluigi pulled a musty old book from the top shelf. "First of all, at Wintendont, we definitely, uh, care about maintaining a safe and supportive work environment. That's probably our biggest priority. After making money. And taking down Nintendo."
Hilda's eyes could not roll back further.
"Furthermore, I was actually talking about the classic Chinese novel Water Margin, also known as Outlaws of the
Marsh, also known as All Men Are Brothers." He felt Hilda's glare boring into him. "We don't have to refer to it by that last title." Wario was calling him again. Jeez, so needy. Waluigi silenced the call again.
Weezing would've liked to have noted here that the group comprising the titular outlaws actually included some women. Unfortunately, no one would understand him, so all he could do was float idly and make the room smell bad as Waluigi continued on his soapbox.
"So what's your point?" asked Chef Kawasaki, spinning a spatula. "Why do we care about this book?"
Waluigi set his copy of Water Margin down on a desk. "This book is our company's bible. It's the tale of a ragtag bunch of disgruntled warriors who band together, gather allies, and take on the government. This story will serve as the model for the future of this company."
Apple Kid, in the meantime, was flipping through the book and skipped to the end. "Hey, don't they end up failing in the end? Also, it looks like they end up serving the very power they strove to defeat... Not a very happy ending."
Waluigi swiped the book away from the young inventor. "How dare you speak ill of our bible! Now come, my... siblings! Let us march out into the world and collect more allies! Why stop at disenfranchised Nintendo characters? Everyone can join in! Let's, as they say, catch 'em all!"
He marched out of his office door. His recruits exchanged glances of uncertainty and confusion. They proceeded to mumble a few minor expressions of apathy and dissatisfaction before ultimately following him out the door. Behind them, Waluigi’s phone lit up with yet another missed call.
Several days later... (Proceed to the next tab to advance the story.)
An Unlikely Hero Emerges
Wario was flipping through his television, as was his wont. A certain ad started playing for the fifth time in the past hour alone.
"Announcing the most ambitious crossover of all time... BIG BASH SIBLINGS! Featuring a roster of over 108 characters that includes Harry Potter! The Michelin Man! Yellow the yellow M&M!"
Wario groaned. This game was going to be an intellectual property nightmare. He could already visualize the deluge of lawsuits headed Waluigi's way. He’d been calling his bro repeatedly to no avail.
“I guess it's my duty to stop my bro before he gets into some serious trouble... But how?" Unfortunately, most productive solutions would involve leaving the comfort of his sofa. Why do the right thing when you can just watch TV?
Wario groaned. "Brooooo..."
"Ugh, I guess I better get that." With a heavy sigh, Wario reluctantly rolled off the sofa and slouched towards the door. "Coming!"
Wario flung the door open to some familiar faces. Eight of them, to be exact.
"Whoa, aren't you guys supposed to be making a game with my bro?"
Chef Kawasaki fidgeted awkwardly. "Yeah, about that... We've got a recipe for disaster on our hands."
Lolo interjected. "Your brother's lost his mind. I don't know if you've seen any of the ads, but his latest recruiting efforts have gone completely off the rails. This game's no longer about Nintendo characters. It's just a random assortment of whatever he can think of."
"The game makes even less sense than it did before," Paper Luigi said. "We've tried talking him out of this, but none of us have gotten through to him. We were thinking that, maybe, as his brother, you could be more persuasive..."
"Believe it or not, my bro doesn't listen to me very much", Wario replied, flicking a booger off of his fingertip. "But we should probably do something about this I guess."
"Any ideas?" asked Apple Kid. "Usually, I'm the ideas guy, but my brain hurts from this latest recruitment drive."
Wario thought for a few moments before arriving at the natural conclusion.
"Aha!" he exclaimed, mashing his fists together. "As with most things in life, we can solve this with large amounts of money! We'll pay off each person he recruits to leave his game! Heck, maybe we'll just buy out the whole company! Hostile takeover, baby!"
Beedle clapped his hands together in excitement at the sound of money, and Weezing moaned. Doshin nodded, not really sure what was going on.
"Ahem!" Hilda cleared her throat. "And just where is this money going to come from? I may be a noble, but as we all know, I have better things to do with my money like hiding it in overseas accounts!"
"I'm glad you asked." Wario smirked. "Mere hours ago, I asked Reddit how to get rich. Turns out it's pretty easy. All I have to do is mine a bunch of shifty altcoins and abuse NFTs that are actively depleting the world of vital resources! Actually, wait..." He stroked his chin, perhaps contemplating the ethical consequences of such an endeavor. "Yeah, this idea is pretty awesome."
As the others were beginning to wonder whether Wario was even less competent than his brother, the man in yellow set off to find his laptop and initiate his cryptoventure. He also began investigating some potentially easy marks to bribe on Waluigi's roster...