Nintendo announced the return of Waluigi today in the mistitled Mario Tennis Aces. The new tennis title starring a roster of the who's who of the Mushroom Kingdom includes everyone's favorite lanky lunk, Waluigi, and will offer the first story mode the series has seen since Mario Tennis Power Tour for the Game Boy Advance. All of that practical information gets away from the central question - just who is Waluigi?
As far as I can tell, Waluigi is just some guy who likes to play tennis quite a bit. He initially appeared in the original Mario Tennis title for the N64 and has since appeared in a wide variety of sport and party games alongside the Mario series' most prominent characters. He's never been a major antagonist to the Mario brothers, though he is depicted as being a rival to Luigi for largely unexplained reasons.
So, like, what's his deal? All I can figure is that Waluigi was some random guy that Wario knew to be good at tennis. That led to him being brought onto the court to face Mario and Luigi. Ever since then, people in Mushroom Kingdom society must have either liked him enough for found him useful enough to invite to numerous other tennis tournaments, baseball games, golfing holidays, karting adventures, and even those galaxy-famous Mario Parties.
Having no investment in the outcome of these events or really anything to do with the central conflicts between the factions of the Mushroom Kingdom, Waluigi often gets cast in a villainous light when in reality he's the true neutral of any given situation. In fact, the only thing Waluigi seems to care about is the spirit of fair play. Surely he knew who the Mario brothers were when Wario asked him for help and roped him into these high-level shenanigans with the most influential people in the land. He must have known that he'd be going up against ghosts, dragon monsters, giant piranha plants, and the most famous people in the world if he agreed, certainly a dangerous position. Nevertheless, he agreed to help Wario so that the tennis match could be a fair 2v2.
Really, what I'm getting at here is just - look at that header image. Waluigi clearly lives for Tennis. The power stance, the glint of determination in his eyes, the customized racket, the proud visor complete with hair swoosh; all of it screams of a man who wants nothing more than to play tennis and do his best.
Nintendo, make 2018 the year of Waluigi.
Mario Tennis Aces releases sometime this spring for the Nintendo Switch.