About Mario Villains
Editorials / Features
Villains are cool. Okay, people like Mario, Luigi, Wario and DK in their respective games, but let's be honest here, it's the antagonists who get all the cool lines, dramatic speeches and general characterisation. So in honour of a series worth of fantastic bad guys with all kinds of hilarious personalities comes this post, in which I have a look and sort of rate all the villains in the history of the Mario series. Bowser might be a bit tricky though...


THE number one villain, and arguably still the best. Sure. others can be better in terms of power (although I bet the Galaxy version of Bowser could probably beat up even the Shadow Queen or the like single handed), but Bowser is the classic.

He's got lots of different boss battles, more classic music than you could think was possible:

He really is the best villain. He's got humour and character, in both the RPGs and platformers. but can still be a threat. He can punch out trains and castles in Bowser's Inside Story and he's survived more damage than any other being in fiction.

Bowser is practically God.


Poor, poor Wart. He's not a bad villain, he's just possibly one of the most unremarkable in the Mario series due to not really getting much of a chance to develop as a character. Yes, he was originally from Doki Doki Panic, and for some reason, the enemy in a world which happened to Arabian themed in some way (he made even less sense as the villain in his original game than he did as a Mario villain).

Still, there isn't really anything to say about him other than in his original appearance, his replacement by Bowser would probably have made no real difference to the storyline. Sure, he's a frog king, he breathes poison bubbles and is weak to vegetables (and yet puts a vegetable spewing dream machine in his throne room), but he's really quite a 2 dimensional villain (in the characterisation, not sprite graphics sense), with a one liner which says absolutely nothing about him other than 'I'm evil':

I am the great Wart! Ha ha ha!

That's literally his entire characterisation in the Mario series, and the single line he says in Super Mario Advance. Not saying the other bosses are exactly fleshed out (Mouser's quote is obvious, Fryguy's is just plain corny and Tryclyde seems like he's doing a bad impression of an actual menacing villain), but Wart doesn't get any real level or semblance of character.

Still, the spinoffs were kinder. You had a comic showing him as the nearest thing to a Mushroom Kingdom used car salesman (I guess that evil overlord business doesn't bring in the money like it used to...), and in an incredibly disturbing scene, the Super Mario All Stars (okay, COLLECTION, considering the region) advert in Japan showed him going to the awards ceremony with Birdo. That's probably one bit of shipping even the fan fiction writers would want to stay clear of.

Above: Wart's face... it makes him look like a stalker...


The Big Bad in the officially most maligned Mario game on Waluigious, Tatanga is pretty much what you'd expect him to be. Evil alien, in a gigantic spaceship, who kidnaps Daisy for no real reason other than a space level plays into the game's world theming. True, it does turn out he's hired as practically a decoy by Wario while the true villain snatches Mario Land from under Mario's nose, but it's fairly likely they just came up with that addition to the story when they realised they were making a sequel and wanted to use Tatanga again.

Far as quality of character goes... he has practically none due to underuse. He's got a nice spaceship though, and is actually portrayed quite... interestingly (looking more like some macho alien from a sci fi film) in a certain Mario comic.

He also never appeared in a single Mario Galaxy game, despite them being set in freaking outer space. What next, Chargin' Chucks not appearing in Mario Madden edition? Oh wait, unfortunately that sounds plausible for Nintendo.


THE coolest villain bar maybe Bowser. Okay, his first appearance was pretty much as just 'Mario but evil', the evil twin archtype you've seen a whole lot before, but with his own series like Wario Land and WarioWare giving him more of a greedy, somewhat anti heroic character, Wario has gone from a quite dull bad guy to an extremely interesting and just plain fun 'hero'.

On another random note, he tends to be the best character advert wise. First was the classic Super Mario Land 2 ad, which showed him as a mind control obsessed lunatic:

Or Wario Land, where he becomes a literal hypnotist:

You're very handsome...

Or Wario Blast

Wario Godzilla style is pretty cool:

Those wacky Japanese advert makers!

He also thinks his game is the best, to the point of beating up other Nintendo games and the Super Game Boy...

Greed is good! Greed makes you do great things! Greed loves old people! Gold coins and puppies! Look at you, everything? Even if you have to piledrive your enemies to do so!

How can you not love the embodiment of Large Hamness in video game character form?


It's the villain moral guardians hate the most! No really, evil Santa robot running a weapons factory is pretty much the one thing that would cause more controversy towards video games than even the GTA scandals.

I can see his quotes being really, really taken out of context by the paranoid...

Hurrumph! Better yet... Why don't YOU give me YOUR stars. Why, then I could easily conquer this world! Then we could get rid of wishes, and create a world filled with... WEAPONS!!

You can see it now, can't you? Mario game encourages crime in kids, Super Mario RPG villain promotes weapons! Now on Fox!

But Smithy really is an interesting villain. To a degree, he's probably one of the darker, more evil villains in the series, being the one villain I can see who doesn't have a single humourous element about him at all. Fawful can be evil, but he's funny. Dimentio is an attempted universe destroy psycho, but is still hilarious and to a degree, affable. Bowser is... Bowser. Smithy on the other hand, is evil with a capital E, with not a single funny element to him whatsoever and the kind of dead seriousness that would put Sauron or Voldemort to shame.

Plus, how can you not love a him who shows the exact worst consequences of perhaps Weber's social theories? Or maybe the extreme end of a puritan work ethic, every single minion made in a dimensional factory with the sole purpose being to conquer worlds and build countless weapons.

Literally, it's Evil Co Ltd.

Grodus (X-Nauts in general as well)

Another trope defined villain, Grodus is pretty much your standard evil overlord. Being too harsh? Well, I guess he certainly looks cool, but I don't think he really has much of a personality, being about as serious as Smithy when it comes to his task.

Okay villain I guess, and has a nice line about how he wants to remake the world in his own image:

Yes... I, Grodus, will build a new world! A perfect, ideal world, made by me, about me, and FOR me!

Shadow Queen

Scary, dangerous, and still somewhat interesting, the Shadow Queen is pretty much the true villain of Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door. She also started the trend towards female villains in Mario RPGs, which is at least something different.

But I'm not sure what to think about this villain. On the one hand, the Shadow Queen has truly some of the most terrifying powers of any villain in the Mario series...

You just have to admit, these scenes look awesome. The music really, really also helps matters, both the pre battle scene music where the world goes dark and the heartwarming music from the scene below:

Or how she reduces poor Grodus to just a head.

True, it's corny as heck (the premise, the power of hope/wishes has been done so much before), but it's definitely done well here.

On the other hand, for a villain, unfortunately there's not a lot seperating her from other world destroying loons from the Mario universe, and unfortunately, Dimentio and the like have better characterisation and power (one world vs one multiverse?)


The villain of the first Mario and Luigi game, and a fairly unique villain to be honest. She's a standard wicked witch (rare in the villain list), she decided to steal Peach's voice (which, considering how Princess Peach so often gets kidnapped, at least adds some variety to the storyline), and she started the whole Mario RPG trend of the final boss either possessing or being a clone of Bowser.

Is Cackletta as interesting as Fawful? Of course not. But she's not exactly the worst villain, and was a perfectly fine first RPG villain. Scary at times too...

Above: Yikes! That's prime Nightmare Fuel for a face...

On another note, am I the only one who thinks her music is pretty cool, and probably the most memorable villain cut scene theme?


^ The second is the first on caffeine!


Would it be unfair to say that these are probably the most evil villains in the Mario series? True, various villains like the Shadow Queen plunged the world into darkness and killed a few people, but the Shroobs practically wrecked the Mushroom Kingdom (world?) to the extent of massive environmental damage and the soul draining/near death of practically the entire population of Toads.

You've also got to consider they attacked on Christmas eve in at least one part of the Mushroom Kingdom, which is... pretty much as evil as you can get. Remember, there was even a truce on Christmas in World War 1, so the fact the Shroobs still attacked in full force in the Mario series on such a date likely catapults them far, far over the moral event horizon.

That's a depressing song, for an event which probably makes most Mario villains and their actions look quite tame. At least most RPG villains tend to only attack those directly fighting them, and those that are an exception have tended to either be Bowser or... well, really, really beyond any conception of good.

Effective villains in terms of making the player hate them, you've got to admit. And quite honestly some of the most downright nasty in video game history.

Count Bleck

He who speaks in third person. Not sure what to say here, other than that he's pretty much the sole tragic villain in the Mario series.

Normally, the villains tend to be... well, bad people by heart, and evil by their own wishes and desires. Mario never bothers with Freudian excuses in most cases, thank God, so Fawful's a *** because he's... well, he's just a ***. Bowser is just mean by heart and likes being cruel, and every other villain is the same way...

... Except Bleck. The one guy tragically driven to villainy after losing his loved one and such what. Of course, the normal person will realise he really needs a psychiatrist more than anything, because well... he's gone slightly further than most of the mentally unhinged who go postal. Those boring people tend to just cause havoc in a local area, Bleck decides reality shouldn't exist and goes off to destroy the multiverse. I think one's a bit more dangerous and psychotic than the other...

Got a nice final castle and music though.

Bleck's a cool villain though, if only because he's both funny to 'listen to' in game, and... well, he's the ultimate example of somewhat who couldn't take it and become a raving lunatic power wise.


Dimentio is pretty much the most ridiculous prepared villain in the Mario series, if not fiction. Basically, he's both an effective villain, who could probably achieve his goals without opposition if Mario and co didn't mess it all up, and humourous, with the effective part bordering the insane.

First off, keep in mind, according to a certain rumour in game... Dimentio may have even wrote the Dark Prognosticus. So he's pretty much ancient, and he's assumingly played some millenia long game of Xanatos Roulette with fate and wannabe villains.

So to recap how over the top complex his plan was:

Write madness inducing book of prophecies (so I guess he really is crazy)

Wait for some lunatic to go mad enough to want to read said book and unleash the prophecy.

Make sure you've wrote yourself in so you can walk up to said maniac, he'll realise you're needed and hire you.

Get the four heroes through their quest, including to ***/heaven and back, because you need them to get the pure hearts...

... to defeat the crazy guy who unleashed the prophecy in the first place, because your plan isn't to destroy all worlds for good.

Profit! Plus a back up plan in case you die.

Plus, he talks in similies, which makes him entertaining to listen to as well.

Finally, Dimentio manages to do something villains have failed at since the beginning of time... kill the hero before he can react (by kill, I mean send to the afterlife).

All in all, you've got to give him some credit, he's both an entertaining and ruthlessly efficient villain, and as a result, is possibly more interesting and effective villain wise than both Count Bleck and the Shadow Queen put together.


The perennial fan favourite villain, who in a remarkable bit of luck (or a display of how being the ensemble darkhorse can make a character's status skyrocket in the official games) went from being a henchman to the freaking Big Bad, main villain of Bowser's Inside Story.

He deserves it to, considering how absolutely fantastic the character is. With a different verbal tic in every single localisation, he is pretty much the character with all the best and most quotable lines.

Yes, we know about the old quote and him having gotten fury, but he's got many just as funny to read/listen to:

Soon Princess Peach's voice will be Cackletta's snack cake!
Your lives that I spit on are now but a caricature of a cartoon drawn by a kid who is stupid!
Fawfully-doo!? Where are you?!? Dark Star, needing you!? Dark power, yoo-hoo!? WHERE TO FIND YOU...? (yay, Scooby Doo parody!)
Bowser keeps apearing like an ugly rabbit from the hat of a magician who stinks!

Fawful is on the cozy couch, sipping tea that laughs at you!

Beef? I am lacking in beef. Fawful is beefless.

Forget anyone else, Fawful is pretty much the true main character of the Mario and Luigi series. Heck, even Nintendo Power admitted he's the most quotable character ever.

Dark Star

A villain who sounds like his lines were written by a thirteen year old fan fiction writer, because they are... flowery. Indeed, for some of them, they strafe the unfortunate line between 'interesting' and plain purple prose.

Soon this kingdom will vanish along with all who dwell within. And you, too, will sleep eternally in the dark power's embrace!

Such as the above line, which sounds straight off Fan Fiction.net... the new Mario fan fiction, where a typical Final Fantasy/JRPG villain enters Mushroom World and goes omnicidal maniac!

"The dark power slept so long, and now it wakes... It must be freed..."

However, you can't be too harsh to this guy. He's pretty much what an evil artifact should be like, not the complete joke that the Black Jewel was in Wario World, and as a villain, it's just kind of entertaining to watch.

Really, really nice boss music too.


Fawful's henchman. Midbus in general seems pretty much like what you'd get if you had the speech pattern of Fawful and the intelligence of a literal rock. Basically, he talks like someone who used Google Translate too much and is near enough speaking gibberish in a foreign language.

You. You no longer needed. You taste defeat.

Go be trashy in this trash hole with this trash robot forever!

Sense is for the weak!
You listen, Peach, gone. Lord Fawful, new ruler.
Now, no need of you, Lord Fawful says sleep. NOW YOU SLEEP!

You go no farther than how far you are.

And my favourite quote/name:

Go! Super Ultra Great Mega Trashy Monster Junker Bot!

Next up, the Wario villains. Not quite as interesting as the Mario ones, simply because RPGs allow for a lot more characterisation than platformers and most Wario villains tend to never be seen again after their first appearance, leading to many a villain with a personality of solid cardboard.

Captain Syrup

Another fan favourite... who quite honestly, doesn't really do a whole lot that makes her more interesting than other Wario villains. Sure, she's more effective in both style and actions than anyone from Wario Land 4 to Master of Disguise, but as far as behaviour goes, there is really is nothing seperating her from Rudy or the Shake King other than being female.

*Looks at the last part*

Okay, that probably explains exactly why the character is so popular with geeks on the internet. She's still the closest thing Wario has to a main antagonist, so I guess she's a decent enough villain in that sense, since she's more persistent than the rest of them.

Rudy the Clown

Probably the other somewhat main but no really villain for the Wario series, because his two appearances (Wario Land 3 and Doctor Mario 64) officially put him as the second most recurring bad guy in the series.

Rudy is pretty much... well, he's an evil God type figure, a slightly more 'in the background' type villain than the later ones and one of the most demonic clowns you'll ever see. It seems true that this... being seems to have no remorse or concern for anyone else whatsoever, and unfortunately for Wario, he apparently escaped the Music Box World to the Mushroom Kingdom (see Doctor Mario 64).

Don't know why the 'invincible' Wario is panicking before the battle even begins, but I think I would if I saw this guy anywhere.

Golden Diva

Or where Wario's bad guys went from cool to 'exceedingly lame'. This... thing, really brought nothing interesting to the series. It appeared for exactly one battle, had no real connection to a plotline and looked more ridiculous than scary.

Black Jewel

And it got even worse. The cut scene in the intro was decent, I'll give the developers that:

Well, the music's... okay. The powers of the jewel thing seem like they tried to make a Wario version of the Dark Star and failed miserably.

But as a villain, it really doesn't terrify anyone. It looks goofy, it doesn't really try to stop Wario, and all in all, shows none of it's 'terrifying' powers during the final boss fight:

All it does is shoot fire/lasers? Really, it's like a boss from Brutal Mario, with as wooden animation...

Seriously, even carol's first bosses in a freaking ROM hack are better built than the Wario World final boss, and trust me, those are often robotic in how boring they are.

Terrormisu (and other Master of Disguise villains)

Oh boy, the ball got dropped even worse this time. Not only did they pick the worst villain out of three to be the main one (why Terrormisu? Why not Cannoli or Carpaccio, both of who are more interesting characters?), it looks pretty much like... well, an overweight, thirty year old Twilight fan cosplaying as Princess Peach.

Is this meant to be a joke? Heck, you don't even bloody fight the bosses in this game, both Terrormisu and Carpaccio come down to what are basically touch screen controlled MINI GAMES.

Okay, maybe a bit harsh but... how is this a boss battle? It reminds me of this from Mario Fantasy (hack):

Shake King

He's evil. heck, he's pretty much the perfect personification of your TV Tropes standard Bad Guy, with a capital B. Really, the picture below shows every single evil and villain trope the guy personifies, and all without irony:

He is honestly the personification of the word 'villain'. He'd do pretty well as a Disney villain for that matter, he's certainly got the look for it and all he needs now is a catchy villain song...

So what to rate him as a villain? Pretty good. Not a very deep character, your standard evil overlord type with all the attributes you'd expect, but after three games of villains with no real level of menace, it's nice to finally have a evil doer who you'd be more scared of if you met them in a dark alley than grossed out.

Finally, some Donkey Kong villains. Not that Donkey Kong is exactly a Mario spinoff, or likely part of the Mario universe, just that I think K Rool is awesome and after this you'll know as much as well.

King/Kaptain/Baron K Rool(enstein?)

The best villain in the Donkey Kong Country, if not Donkey Kong series in general.

Really though, you can count the ways why. He has personality, he varies up his attack patterns (*cough* Bowser and your freaking SMB 1 castle bridge that's been in about FOUR games *cough*), he varies his costumes (pirate K Rool is best, but the mad scientist look still kinda suits him a bit).

Plus, he's just interesting to fight. Face it, this is the most badass final boss fight ever, and puts all other Donkey Kong Country final bosses to shame:

Why can't Bowser learn some fighting lessons from him sometime?

Besides, he survives being punched straight out his airship roof, hitting the moutain side twice, falling in the ocean, getting torn apart by sharks and sinking to Crocodile Core... then later, falling in the CORE of his island as it basically EXPLODES. K Rool is the most... well... determined villain ever.


Bzzzzt... Click... Kongs enemy. You must be... DESTROYED!!!

An unfortunately unlikely to reappear villain who appears in the third game as the fake final boss.

There's not much to say here, other than that he looks a lot like the Terminator (at least, his second head) and looks a whole lot more menacing than he really is. You'd expect something like this to tear you to shreds in seconds, but sadly no...

Above: Where Black Jewel in Wario looked lame and fought poorly and say, Smithy looked awesome and fought well, KAOS looks absolutely invincible and goes down in minutes.

Jungle Beat villains

So forgettable I can't honestly remember what the final boss is even like. Next!

Tiki Tong

A new villain, and unfortunately, not a great one. He's better than the Jungle Beat baddies, he at least seems to have a bit of character and a good theme song, but he just seems rather generic. As many said, he's pretty much Tiki Andross. Or Tiki Gohdan from The Wind Waker.

DK punches the moon into this guy!

It pains me to say this, but why couldn't we fight a powered up version of one of the standard tiki leaders, or even just the totem thing in the volcano? Or you know, King K Rool, because K Rool's the true Donkey Kong Country antagonist, and all others will never compare,

So what lies ahead in the Mario series villain wise? Who's the villain in the 3DS Paper Mario game? All those and many more... will be answered by Nintendo, because it's getting late.

Every story needs a good villain... and every bad villain is a Mario game ruined.

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